The Five Percent Difference by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
When we need to make a change in our work life, we frequently believe we must make big changes in order to see results. Often measurable results can be gained with tweaks, as opposed to drastic changes. Making a five percent change in your intention at work often leads to much more than a five percent gain. Here are some examples:
• If you spend 60 minutes per day socializing with other employees, and you cut that time by five percent, you gain 3 minutes per day. At the end of the month, you’ve put in one extra hour of work. If you spent that extra hour, for example, making cold calls, could you increase your sales? Or, could you get home a little earlier on Friday nights? Three minutes a day seems miniscule, but it can add up quickly.
• Consider the time you spend doing repetitive tasks, as well. Tasks like sending reminder emails to customers, for example, can seem quick, but can actually take up quite a bit of time over the period of a week. Could you automate those emails, or set up email templates that would cut your time by even five percent? Remember that five percent of a 40 hour work week is two hours, which is a significant chunk of time to regain for using toward more important tasks.
Focusing five percent more is difficult to quantify. However, most of us can find little time wasters in our day if we take an honest look. Getting rid of these time wasters and increasing your focus on the work at hand produces measurable results over time.
Spend some time taking a look at how you spend your day at work. It’s likely that you can find areas where giving five percent more intention would really pay off. Whether you use that time for increasing productivity or just to help you cut out the excess hours you’re working, you’ll be amazed at how much five percent can really buy.