Marketing-Börse PLUS - Fachbeiträge zu Marketing und Digitalisierung
print logo

Eight Secrets To Getting More Done In 2012

With the New Year nigh, it’s time to start thinking about resolutions (the kind you’ll actually keep).
Forbes | 14.12.2011
With the New Year nigh, it’s time to start thinking about resolutions (the kind you’ll actually keep).

How about not working 60-hour weeks and spending more time with family, on a rewarding hobby, or even just seeing a good movie? Magical thinking, you say. Fine–but squeezing more out of those 60 hours isn’t. At this point, boosting productivity is pretty much a requirement for business owners and worker bees alike.

The key, as the saying goes, is to work smarter, not harder—but if you share that worn chestnut with someone who toils 12 hours (or more) a day you might get an earful of expletives, maybe even a fist in the eye.

Instead, kindly direct them to this list of tools and ideas, courtesy of Forbes contributors who have suffered their fair share of long hours and have learned a trick or two.


My day job in weird metals means phoning around half of Europe (hyperbole alert) each week. Fifteen years ago, while based in Russia, I was paying $4,000 a month to do this. Today I pay $25 a quarter to call any and every land line in Europe. At least I think it’s $25: It’s a number so small that I don’t in fact check it, which is productivity-saving in itself.

Hourly Gut Checks

Every hour on the hour (for the last 20 years) I ask myself the following question: Am I doing the most productive thing possible at this point in time? If my answer is Yes, I press on. If my answer is no, I have a decision to make. I have been known to end meetings, phone calls, reschedule appointments, etc., solely based on the outcome of my gut check. It’s okay to spend time on items that don’t meet the gut check test, so long as you know you’re doing it. It’s the people who think they’re being productive when they are clearly not that have trouble.


I love gadgets and technology.I have them all and am a master—and too often a slave—of seamless, incessant, multi-device multitasking. But there’s a time to surf and a time to synthesize. Multitasking makes it hard to focus on the right information and near impossible to think through the implications. Here’s a simple rule for meetings: If a meeting isn’t worth unplugging for, it’s not worth having. If you’re invited to it, don’t go. If you’re the organizer, cancel it.

Defined Tasks

As the manager of a diverse team I have found the absolute best way to increase productivity is to take the time to provide very clear expectations up front. So much time is wasted working on projects that, while perhaps worthy, don’t move the organization in the direction it needs to move. Our 30-minute (maximum) meeting agenda is always the same:

-What did you accomplish last week?

-What will you accomplish next week?

-What do you need from any other member of the team?

The outcome of this approach is highly efficient team that enjoys their work because they know what is expected, they know how they contribute and there is tremendous freedom and independence—as long as the weekly report is a good one.
About the author: Forbes