Micro-Milestones – Improving Productivity By Utilizing Micro-Milestones

Improving your level of productiveness is not a result that will happen by itself. It will require learning some new skills and more importantly actually implementing them. We will be taking a look at one such skill in this report. The skill of using micro-milestones to get your important tasks completed in a timely fashion.

The implementation of this skill will mean that you have a systematic way to complete important tasks. One of the very real benefits from doing this is that you will have more time for family and friends. You will also feel a very real sense of accomplishment by doing this. On the other hand having this skill will be another way for you to prevent completing important tasks. It also means you can totally avoid feeling that feeling of not finishing something you know you should have.

THE MICRO-MILESTONE STRATEGY

Before we jump head first into this productivity improving strategy let’s make sure that we are all on the same page.

Wikipedia defines “Milestone” as

“… a milestone is an event that receives special attention.”

This is where the ambiguity can start to come into play as far as this strategy is concerned. What we are looking for here is a marker that exists in the duration of a total task that you will use as a way to split that task up and allow you to complete a portion of it.

When it comes to choosing the marker it should be something that makes sense to you specifically. For example, if we have chosen as a task to write a book then one of the sub-tasks would be to write a chapter in that book. For our purposes we may take this one step further and say our micro-milestone in this case might be 1000 words.

The important thing to realize here is that the micro-milestone should be chosen in a manner so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by attempting to complete the entire task in one sitting.

Think of it this way, “How do you eat an elephant?”

The answer is simple.

“One bite at a time!”

In our case the one bite at a time will be the micro-milestones. This will tend to create positive momentum for you and lead to an overall improvement in productivity.

WHY DOES THIS WORK?

The micro-milestone strategy is effective because of three specific principles that work synergistic ally to create a whole that is greater than it’s parts.

The first principle is the idea of “Momentum”. One of the greatest enemies of productivity is the idea of inertia or non-movement. Most of the time you delay starting on a task because of the perception of either being overwhelmed by it or biting off way more then you can comfortably deal with at the time.

By choosing micro-milestones you will find yourself more pro-active and not in a state of overwhelm. By completing micro-milestone after micro-milestone you Will be creating positive momentum.

The second principle of “Commitment” works on the idea that when we have decided we are going to do something and started on that path then we will tend to stay with it until we come to the logical ending. In this case by committing to complete a micro-milestone you have made it easier to get started because you know the ending isn’t a far off unreachable place.

Finally, the last principle that makes micro-milestones works is the idea of “Consistency”. All of us are hard-wired to be consistent with the way we see ourselves. This is why it’s so difficult not to follow through on something you have committed to finish. Having stated that I would like to make a clarification to what I just wrote. If you were forced to commit to something because of an outside authority then this principle’s effect is greatly diminished because you didn’t really make the decision yourself.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

In this report we have taken a pretty thorough look at a strategy that if implemented can increase your productivity. We looked at some of the WHY reasons behind increasing your productivity, explained the idea of micro-milestones, covered the principles that make this specific strategy work and finally what to do if you encounter three popular stumbling blocks. By allowing yourself to implement consistently the micro-milestone strategy you will find that your productivity levels start to soar. The interesting thing about this is that it starts to become a pervasive affect. The other areas of your life will become productive because as your momentum increases then so does your sense of being a more productive person as well. This means more satisfying personal relationships, more successful business and/or career outcomes and of course a greater sense of accomplishment.

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Time Management Tips – How to Boost Productivity Using Delay of Gratification

Time management tips teach you how to celebrate your potential. You create your life every day through your time choices, after all. And each constructive, disciplined time choice strengthens you and enhances your contentment. So building on the wisdom of The Road Less Traveled is an excellent base for your time choices.

Scott Peck’s first book, The Road Less Traveled, achieved worldwide prominence in 1983. Translated into 20 languages, with over 7 million copies sold, it stayed on the New York Times Best Seller List longer than any other paperback book, before or since.

It remains popular because it helps readers make tough choices to solve profound, often lifelong problems. And each of the 4 disciplines that Peck promotes can translate directly to time management strengths.

How would you like to successfully tackle the biggest problem in your life? You can make a strong start by utilizing the power of the first discipline discussed in The Road Less Traveled: delay of gratification. Which of the following attributes would move you forward?

5 Essential Strengths that Delay of Gratification Helps Build:

  1. Overcoming Procrastination

    When you put off what is difficult or unpleasant, the neglected tasks hang over you like a cloud, day after day. Overcoming this impulsive avoidance allows you to get what is objectionable or challenging out of the way first. You are then free to enjoy your remaining projects with clear conscience. The result? Heightened effectiveness and much more guilt-free time!

  2. Trust

    Follow-through requires that you stay the course in the face of challenges and distractions. As congruence develops between your plans and your actions, others trust you more, and you trust yourself more. This integrity attracts success in all aspects of your life.

  3. Problem-Solving Capabilities

    Scott Peck maintains, “You can solve any problem if you take the time.” As you delay gratification, you exercise the patience needed to consistently see problems through to their resolution. You will discover first-hand that the less you empower discomfort, the less ability it has to throw you off course. Now you can proceed from priorities to plans to productivity!

  4. Broadening Horizons

    This increased competence build confidence. Step by step, you can increase the scope of your thinking as you build a strong foundation of problem-solving skills. This in turn enhances your alertness, creating a gratifying spiral of success.

  5. Achievement of Long-Term Goals

    Your steadiness of purpose also enhances your ability to actualize far-ranging projects of increased complexity. Now you can launch projects that fulfill lifetime dreams, confident of your capacity to remain focused and productive. Just think of how much more excitement this will bring to your life!

“Failure Cannot Cope With Persistence”

This maxim from Napoleon Hill can serve as a supportive mantra. Or you may wish to create your own. In either case, affirm your boundless power to realize your goals through the constancy of your time choices.

Treat delay of gratification like a muscle you build. Start small, collect successes, and work your way up. The more consistently you exercise this muscle, the more strength and flexibility you manifest. Clearly visualize the achievement of your long-term goal. The satisfaction you experience will help make your chosen course more compelling than the current distraction. Expect to learn as you go, and extend both patience and compassion to yourself as you make this discipline your own.

Step by step, you will experience yourself as powerful, because constructive action will grow from your plan as surely as an oak emerges from an acorn.

Now, how will you enact the time choices that build your life?

Boiling and Chilled Water Systems – The Effect On Productivity

We’re all looking for efficiencies in business, particularly in the highly competitive market that exists following the last recession and credit crunch. But curiously not many companies have calculated the actual cost of the downtime when staff make their refreshments.

Take the standard kettle – 1.5 litres of water, 1.5kw element, up to 4 minutes to boil, and probably 7 or 8 hot drinks, before starting the cycle again. The cost? Around 3p per boiling cycle.

I hear you say well 3p is not much and kettles are cheap to buy and replace. Whilst taken on it’s own that statement is true, but when you start to factor in the loss of productivity when staff queue for their drink it starts to become suddenly costly. People are people, and by nature we are gregarious and standing around waiting encourages an increased loss of time through chatting and socializing.

I came across a company recently with over 400 office staff, just about to move into a multi-million pound new building, and then provide drinking water for hot drinks by means of kettles! Just calculate that out in terms of lost time due to the kettles not being able to keep up with the quantity of drinks required within the very short time window of a dinner or tea break. Scary isn’t it!

For some time now, architects or m&e consultants have started specifying boiling and chilled water systems for office tea-points, break-out areas, conference rooms, catering areas, reception rooms and more. Modern and forward thinking fit-out companies, m&e engineers and global companies are encouraging their use but it is still not a concept that has been readily received.

So what are the features and benefits of commercial under-counter boiling and chilled water systems? I’ve listed a few for you to consider, which are really a checklist of points to raise when choosing supplier.

  • Instant water dispensing – the favourite combination is boiling and chilled, and the best systems quote initial dispense by number of cups. Typically these would be between 20 and 100 cup immediate availability and between 90 and 250 per hour! The reason initial dispense numbers are so important is that they are a guide to the capacity of the boiling and chilled taps. Can they deliver hot or cold drinks if every staff member were to require a drink at the same moment? Impossible to consider with the kettle but within range of the better commercial systems such as Billi or Zip. Try to make sure you get an answer from your supplier as to the instant dispense capacity.
  • Consistency – drink number 100 is the same temperature as number 37 or as number 1. The better systems dispense water at 98.5 degrees C – widely acknowledged as the optimum temperature for tea. The chilled side delivers filtered water at 6.5 degrees C.
  • Economy – the best commercial units cost around 9p per day to run. A very significant cost advantage.Compared to the ordinary kettle, boiling and chilled systems use less electricity, waste less water and last longer.
  • Choice – Boiling, Chilled and Sparkling, Boiling and Chilled, Boiling and Ambient, Chilled and Ambient, Chilled and Sparkling… if fact almost any combination.
  • Space Efficient – Some boiler units are capable of providing 250 cups per hour and will fit under a standard counter top. Not all the manufacturers of boiling and chilled taps however are able to supply units of these compact dimensions so its worth checking if this is so.
  • Ventilation – When comparing brands it is worth noting that some units on the market require a ventilation grille installing to keep the units cool. These are typically air-cooled units, but there are some now on the market that are water-cooled and don’t require the grille.
  • Limescale – The hard water in the UK means that boiling and chilled systems require scale filters. The better brands will utilize the scale filter only on the hot water side of the boiler unit, This means that office workers who want chilled or sparkling drinks will get purer, better tasting water – instantly.