Top Non-Negotiables of Productivity

It’s that time when many reflect on the years they have achieved so far. So what have you achieved during the first quarter of 2018? Are you happy with the progress made, or are you settling for more of the same?

This week I will share what I call the non-negotiables of productivity and how to increase the productivity of your business. These are my absolute non-negotiables. These are the biggest keys to success. And yes, there are 14 of them!

Suppose you don’t do these best business productivity tips. In that case, all of these – you will not be maximising the productivity of yourself or your business.


Are you clear and committed? Do you have a follow-through mindset? What are the relevant and non-negotiable actions you will be adhering to and accountable to every day? You must also constantly ask these two business strategy questions: What are your competitors doing in the same situation? How can you beat them?

Business Strategy Illustration with Chalk on Blackboard

How will you know that you are on the right track? What are the metrics that will embrace brutal truth? Are you still committed to the actual outcomes you set out to achieve? How often are you looking at your scoreboard, and how to increase your productivity?


If you have a business strategy about growing for the long term, what is it ultimately that needs to be known? How will the external world view the business? Who ultimately are you positioning? Whom do you want to be attracted to the company? How much clarity do you have about the target market? Who are your customers?


In everything you do, you manage people – nothing more, nothing less. You need everybody to bring something to the table and contribute. Not every business strategy is a game-changer, but they all add up. It would help if you had the right people in the right roles doing the right things right.


It would be best if you got more rigid and tighter regarding your achievement list. Do you understand the long-term consequences if you don’t continually invest in higher hourly rate tasks? Do one of the best business strategies like managing interruptions, maintaining focus, etc. You need time in your calendar just to come up with ideas. That keeps your business a benchmark business.


Everybody must improve daily, not by growing team numbers but by improving productivity and effectiveness. If you constantly go to the cliff’s edge, you will fly or die.


It would help if you had ‘plan B’ thinking. Be prepared for problems before they arise. Anticipate the choke points in your business. Know the worst-case scenarios and have a plan for them. You can have focus and discipline because all the strategic thinking has been done.


It is non-negotiable to be clear about survive vs thrive tasks. It is non-negotiable to be productive rather than just busy. Working on thriving tasks is where the most significant level of future value is created. As a ratio, most businesses do not spend enough time on thriving tasks.


You are a leader in your business, and that comes with the responsibility to make tough decisions. It would help if you embraced this mindset. If you don’t accept this role, your hesitation and inconsistency when making decisions will confuse you, and this will cause you to fail. If you can’t manage this, you shouldn’t be in business. (Brutal truth, remember?)

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Suppose you want to be a Productivity Diamond. In that case, you must be brutally honest about where we are versus where we need to be. And where you are vs where you could be. You must ask this question regularly and answer it honestly since this is one of the business strategies.


Your belief systems and ability to create value must be at your personal best. Persistence and pushing through are critical. It would help if you aligned with your outcomes and contribution to them. You must be able to handle criticism and feedback. If you cannot take brutal truth, this will ruin your success.


Future-proofing the business by hiring for the long term is critical. The people in your team must be growing before you add more. Your ability to go to new places has to be continuous and constant. It is your dare factor. Thinking outside the square and analysing what you could be doing better is critical to your success.


Are you learning to say no professionally? It is a critical factor. You must say no to things that are not for you rather than just saying no because you are busy. It’s about knowing how to spend your time to produce maximum value for the business and then only doing that. It’s also about managing and minimising interruptions (you can never eliminate them).


It is the most non-negotiable of them all. Regardless of what happens, you must be working from your strategy up. With everything you do, first, ask what the plan is. What is the process up vs marketing down? It is key to everything you do. From this, everything follows.


So to repeat what I’ve said already, I promise you, if you are not doing these – all of these – you will not be maximising the productivity of your business.

So if this Easter you are reading this and asking yourself “what just happened?”, I urge you to print off this list and tick off what you are nailing right now and get to work on the rest!

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