A Four-Step Process to Increasing Productivity & Effectiveness

Building a field service management business is hard — and remember, the building of said business is only a portion of your life. You still have friends and family to consider, as well as yourself. How do you balance it all?

Here’s an idea on personal productivity and happiness from Stewart Friedman, who teaches at UPenn’s Wharton Business School. He believes there are four essential domains to life:

Work
Home
Community
Self
A ‘Four-Way Win’ is when you integrate the areas to an extent, and then make a tweak that essentially benefits all of them. Simple in thought, right? Harder in execution. (Here’s another Friedman article on designing Four-Way Win experiments.)

In 2005, Friedman’s team analyzed 300 business professionals and the results are within this graph:

So the basic result, then, is like this:

Think of the four areas
Align your actions and your values with those four areas in mind
As a result, you’ll likely think less about work and see increased satisfaction and performance in all areas

Cool, right?

Friedman himself lists the barriers to seeking Four-Way Wins as:

Fear
Ignorance
Guilt

That’s a logical list of impediments to balancing out your life, and many business leaders can be guilty of all three as they try to grow their concept into a revenue-producer. The key is to minimize the problem areas.

If you take the Friedman work on face value, then all you’re trying to do is align the four areas. You don’t necessarily have to prioritize work less; you just need to bring it into a context with the other three areas. Here’s how Friedman himself summarizes:

Barriers to creating meaningful changes in where you focus your attention — your most precious resource — are real, and there are ways to surmount them. Take action that’s within your control and that you believe will benefit the people who matter most to you in all the different parts of your life, gather data on your impact, and continually adjust so you’re increasingly able to do what’s good for you and for them. Your mindset will shift as you start to see more opportunities for realistic four-way wins. You just have to look for them, as a leader, in all parts of your life, by doing the basics: Envision a better future and bring others along with you.

The last line is awesome: Envision a better future and bring others along with you.

Shouldn’t we all be chasing that?

This requires work on your part: figure out what you want to focus on, how you want to track it, how you want to evaluate it, etc. You need to do that and, in the process, take time away from answering e-mails from stakeholders and the like. (It won’t hurt your business. It will just make you a bit more well-rounded.) It’s challenging. But if you even remotely believe those satisfaction/performance numbers, why not try?

To find out how to make your team more productive, download our eBook here.