Productivity is the essence of becoming something. Thus, National Productivity Day is celebrated every year on February 12 and the theme for 2023 is – A chance to set goals. To increase productivity, goal-setting is crucial.
For Abhishek Banerji, Psychologist and TEDx Speaker, setting goals instils motivation in individuals. “It gives an individual the opportunity to set goals that are meaningful, relevant and aligned with their values, needs wants and desires. Hence, it makes them feel more invested and motivated in achieving them and consequently enhancing their professional and personal productivity.”
Making goals also allows an individual to reflect and assess the things he wants to achieve for himself and his institution and people. “I try and break challenges into smaller, short-term, realistic and more achievable goals that are specific and measurable to achieve them. The process has helped me stretch our capabilities and achieve long-term goals with greater focus,” explains Shibu Shivanandan, Founder and Managing Director, PivotRoots.
Transformational Life Coach Vaneeta Batra provides a holistic perspective on productivity and settings goals to achieve it. “The path towards our goals may not always run smoothly or be easy. But having goals is part of what makes life good. It gives us a sense of meaning and purpose and points us in the direction we want to go.”
The Family Man actor Sharib Hashmi shares his method of being productive. “I must first be confident and upbeat about the work I do if I want to be successful in my personal and professional lives. I won’t take on work that I don’t feel is appropriate for me. Negative boundaries will be created if you accept anything,” he adds.
He puts his 100% into anything he does. “I’m constantly working to improve myself and to learn from my mistakes because lamenting them won’t make them go away. While juggling multiple tasks or projects may ultimately result in completion, concentrating on one at a time may increase your productivity.”
For Abhishek, productivity is about personal resource management (effectiveness and efficiency) that allows him to use resources to attain personal and professional goals. “I set personal and professional goals which are in line with my larger vision and mission for life. So all my energy is directed only in the direction of things that add personal meaning and purpose to my life, thus enhancing my productivity.”
He also shares his goals with his friends and colleagues who are his ‘accountability partners’. “I also try to incorporate the 5S principle - Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke a methodical way to handle the workplace and working practices to enhance my productivity.”
From the beginning of his career, Shibu prioritises his tasks depending on their urgency. He also follows the Eisenhower Matrix, like Abhishek. “It is a well-known framework for high productivity, prioritization, and time management — as one of the guidelines to prioritise. Anything that doesn't fit into the prioritising criteria, or I feel someone can do this better and faster than me — I delegate.”
He values the ability to say NO. “Once you learn the art of saying No at the right places, one also starts saying yes to the right set of things. I also appreciate people who can take decisions on my behalf where I am not needed. Also, it’s important to keep revisiting goals to assess priorities frequently to understand where one is heading, and take corrective measures, if needed.”
Set them right
Vaneeta talks of outcomes letting you have an ever-motivating purpose. “Make action plans. Keep your outcomes simple and focused rather than vague. Be specific about the outcome you want. Have the desire, skill and tools to accomplish your outcomes.”
It is important to have achievable outcomes. Task success comes with setting goals, developing action plans and fulfilling them apart from evaluating the process.
“It is important to stay focused on your goals. But at the same time, give yourself the time to take a step back and reassess. Writing down your goals and being able to see them in front of you also helps,” Shibu suggests.
Take care of your well-being to find life's balance. The balance is different for each one. Have a hobby that's separate from work for personal growth and well-being.
Abhishek says some tools and apps can help in personal resource management and improve overall productivity. “Apart from these, you can set SMART (Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) and personally meaningful and pertinent goals.”
Don’t hold yourself back from achieving what your want. “Pour your heart and soul into it. Make effective use of your time and opportunities and never give up. Understand you are on your own and have to get things on your merit. Pick yourself from every difficult situation that way you will learn better. Learn to take risks. Accept changes and challenges,” Sharib signs off.