What makes other employees more productive and seemingly more efficient with their tasks than others? Several studies have been done to explore how to maximise employee productivity, but few have been specific and direct to the point.

One of these few is developing a productivity ritual. This means making work-related tasks more automatic, so that they expend less energy and are therefore easier to implement.

Starting a ritual requires daily commitment, but once employees stick to it, the payoff is to have more time for yourself and to avoid burn out.

One of my favourite thought leaders and authors in the field is Tony Schwartz  (President and CEO of The Energy Project). Tony shares his top four habits in the following short video. If you have a few minutes it is definitely worth watching here.  I have briefly summarised the 4 points below:

1) Keep a specific bedtime – adequate sleep cannot be overemphasized. It will also put a daily deadline on when you need to finish your task i.e. before the time you need to get to bed.

2) Prioritise one key task per day  - that key task is something that needs to be done at a time of the day when you have the most energy and don’t have a lot of distractions.

3) List new ideas and tasks – throughout the day you’d remember tasks that have to be done and ideas worth taking note of. Note these down as new activities for the day and don’t get bogged down worrying about them.

4) Question yourself when triggered – this is about asking yourself how you can do things differently, in a more inspired, more strategic, more creative way—any other way that makes the task better. 

Productivity rituals are not as difficult to start as they sound. It can be done, if only to maintain work-life balance and keep employees happy and productive. There are all sorts of great iphone applications that can be downloaded to support accountability of these rituals as they quickly become habits. I am currently playing with a great one called ‘Lift’ that integrates with facebook and focuses on community engagement and accountability.

Take a look at https://lift.do/