What if I were to tell you that a 30% increase in productivity at work can represent a 100% increase in your own personal happiness, health & welfare? Would you consider that a better work-life balance? Well, I can actually guarantee it & here’s how it works..
Introduction & Background Data..
Since transitioning my career to Freelance / Interim Executive assignments, I’ve always been able to document the +40% growth in revenue & profitability my clients experienced based on their year-end results. Previously, as a corporate senior executive I was able to do the very same. However, up until now I wasn’t able to easily index that to the dramatic impact on actual productivity in the workplace.
I’ve always worked with emotional intelligence principles for motivation, buy-in & alignment to affect the change that needed to take place in organizations. Now science regularly validates the significant happiness, health & welfare benefits people experience when empowerment based approaches are successfully executed.
Below you will find a graphical representation of our biological clock, sometimes referred to as the Circadian cycle, followed by a 60 minute clip of Tony Schwartz at a Google Talk after he co-authored The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working.
To save you immediate review of the video clip, in-between I’ll summarize the key points from the hour long Google Talk. As well, I’ll present hard evidence based on a case-study from a recent hyper-growth client of mine.
Abraham Maslow, is considered the founder of humanistic psychology based on his conceptualization of a “hierarchy of human needs“. If you’re a regular reader of my work you will be very familiar with my conviction in this framework for human self-actualization. Tony Schwartz’s Google Talk, as well as his Energy Project address mainly the first level as described by Maslow’s physiological need.
Whether professionally or personally, an average productive, effective & healthy human body works based on the following dynamics:
- 7-8 hours of sleep is required
- 90-120 minute maximum high performance cycles
Effective multi-tasking is a myth as it’s been scientifically proven that the human brain can not master more than one task at a time. Sorry to burst your bubble ladies.. you’ll have to choose between doing a lot of things well or one thing perfect. I now have built up enough practical evidence based on a +26 year career to support the Wikipedia’s definition which states that multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention.
These basic guidelines must be respected if you aim to successfully improve Productivity & Human Capital development.
Here’s how it works..
As human beings our professional & personal output is directly influenced by the following states
- High Energy
- Low Energy
- Positive Feelings
- Negative Feelings
When coupled, these states give us the following zones
- High Energy / Positive Feelings = High Performance Zone
- High Energy / Negative Feelings = Survival Zone
- Low Energy / Positive Feelings = Recovery Zone
- Low Energy / Negative Feelings = Burnout Zone
Tony states, and I’ll back it up with practical experience, that we spend most of our time unconsciously oscillating between between High Performance & Survival Zones. Too much time in Survival mode will drag us down into the Burnout zone. Did you know that these two areas are mainly responsible for provoking an overdose of cortisol which turns into a dangerous toxin to our bodies?
And the solution is.. Productivity?
Yes! You are more productive, both in your personal & professional life when you can consciously oscillate between the High Performance & Recovery Zone. The term conscious requires learning, acquiring, and more importantly practicing new habits. In order to be successful you will need some sort of monitoring tool to measure your improved productivity.
And the results were..
Both the client & the team found this solution to be simple & highly effective as witnessed by an increase of 30% within the first month alone! However, the most remarkable affect, a dramatic positive wave of fresh air and energy, was witnessed almost immediately by the senior management within only the first week of the engagement.
By empowering the team with through Productivity Mapping we successfully transformed productivity principles into valuable assets for our workforce to reach new heights of self-actualization. People expressed greater satisfaction in their professional contribution and leveraged these practices into their personal habits. Careful analysis, feedback & customization of the tool by the team themselves, allowed me to better understand how I could coach the team to greater all around success.
Later, we were also able to validate which specific productivity improvements had the most significant contribution toward the company’s over-all strategic goals!
How’s that for a win / win? What zones are you spending most of your time oscillating between? What can you do differently today to change that situation?
This subject is very closely aligned with yesterday’s post How’s your past holding up your future. And as I’ve received a lot of questions on these topics recently, throughout this month (each Wednesday) I will elaborate further on this topic through a series of articles that will give you greater insight & effective tools for better management of your professional & personal productivity.