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Robby Slaughter Talks Productivity on WXNT

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Robby Slaughter joined Pete the Planner on local radio show Skills Your Dad Never Taught You. The program was broadcast on WXNT 1430 AM.

Pete the Planner’s show covers a variety of topics related to financial and personal management. The complete show is available on iTunes as well as below. (Slaughter’s segment begins around 12:00.)

business consultant on the radio

© Flickr user Tom Godber


Some notable comments include:

Peter Dunn: What’s the number one thing people do wrong in the workplace to lose productivity?

Robby Slaughter: They believe that interruptions are the secret to more productivity.

Peter Dunn: Okay. This is brilliant. Hold on, I just got a text. (laughter)

Chip: There’s this paradox between wanting to address issues as they arise at the expense of whatever it was you were supposed to be tackling…

Peter Dunn: … I feel the same way. I like to tackle something right when it happens. What do you suggest?

Robby Slaughter: It’s great to want to tackle things right away. But, we also have to recognize what’s the impact of doing that. So, if you’re the kind of person who gets an email and you respond within sixty seconds.

Peter Dunn: That’s me.

Robby Slaughter: And you’re proud of that.

Peter Dunn: I am.

Robby Slaughter: What you’re doing is you’re training the people who email you to believe that you’re going to respond to every request in sixty seconds.

Peter Dunn: So, is [empowerment] about asking for forgiveness instead of permission? Because if I hire someone to do a job and they do something else and fail at it, it just depends what it was as to whether I’m angry they did it or glad they tried.

Robby Slaughter: It’s not about permission and forgiveness, it’s about authority and responsibility. If you’re an employee or you’re working for somebody, it’s good to ask ‘do I have the responsibility and authority to do this in the way that I think is most helpful, or do you want me to do it in the way that you’re prescribed because you’ve been down this path before?’

Peter Dunn: Excellent.

Peter Dunn: I feel like I am very unproductive based on that I’ve got several, several, several tasks in the midst of one day that I am trying to accomplish, and I like to jump around… So that’s terrible, eh?

Robby Slaughter: Well, that task switching, that going back and forth between two different tasks, especially if some of them are high-skill and some of them are high-challenge, and vice versa—that can be refreshing, because you’re doing a hard thing for a while and then you switch tasks.

Peter Dunn: Right.

Robby Slaughter: But it’s also difficult, because you lose your concentration because you have to break into this new area. What you can do to be more productive is to reward yourself. You can say, ‘Alright, I’m going to finish this PowerPoint presentation or these ten slides… and then I’m going to reward myself by doing something that’s low-challenge.

Thanks so much to Peter Dunn for the opportunity.

The moral of the story is finding the right balance between work and workplace communication is essential to being productive. If you let yourself be constantly distracted by interruptions, you’re not really going to get anything done well. Be sure to set aside time for necessary communication, but your time for focusing on work requires just that: focus. A process may vary from person to person. Some prefer to tackle large projects in one chunk. Others may like to reward themselves by rotating tough work with low-challenge work. It’s important to find what’s most effective for you.

For more information on how to bring these thoughts into your organization, contact the business improvement consultants at AccelaWork today!

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