The concept of productivity is relatively straightforward: at the core, it is a measurement of the quantity of work completed during a specific period of time. Most businesses pay a lot of attention to productivity because it is so closely associated with profitability. A small decline in worker productivity can determine whether or not a small business remains competitive in the marketplace. Whereas most businesses allocate considerable resources to productivity, this type of management is relatively new to academic workplaces and is often missing entirely from discussions about graduate student research.
As project manager of the thesis, you will want to pay close attention to your productivity. While you may not be able to quantify your productivity precisely, it should be possible to make reasonable estimates that will help you make the adjustments to your workplan that may be necessary in order to meet your long-term goals.
All professionals have a limited amount of time available to work on large projects, and it is frequently not possible to increase the amount of time allocated to large projects. In many cases, the only way to complete a project more quickly is to increase your productivity. Small improvements in productivity can have a substantial impact on the time frame for completing the thesis because these increases are multiplied across a large time period. For example, a 20% or 25% increase in productivity sustained over the course of work on the thesis may allow you to complete the project one semester earlier than you would have otherwise.
Strategies for increasing productivity:
- Schedule regular work hours
- Begin working promptly at designated times
- Allocate your sufficient time for high priority tasks
- Minimize time allocated to low priority tasks
- Identify ways to sustain motivation
- Work systematically utilizing tasks lists
- Minimize distractions in your workplace
- Obtain a sufficient amount of sleep every night
- Engage in wellness activities
- Hold yourself accountable to a work plan
- Review your work consistently and evaluate factors affecting productivity