June 26, 2024

Dovilė Daugvilaitė-Zubcovė: discipline over motivation & other productivity tips

You have an interesting career path – could you tell us more about yourself and creating Plan for Life?

My whole professional experience before Planas gyvenimas was related to project management, mostly in the IT field. Though as long as I remember myself I was always a personal productivity freak, but only one day I realized I could potentially combine these two topics and help more people out. Genuinely, working 8-5 was just not for me and now, being my own boss, I cannot imagine myself anyhow else. So perhaps this personality and transformational switch a couple of years ago, which, unfortunately, was led by a heavy corporate burnout, has brought me to solopreneurship.

In our recent seminar, we had an HR professional saying that you don’t have to motivate your employees, you just need not kill the motivation that they have when joining your team. Could the same be said about effectiveness and productivity?

Me, personally, I have trust issues with the word "motivation". :D It is amazing when you have it, when you feel it and when you use it intentionally once it's there. However, I suggest never ever waiting for another motivation boost to come. If, in productivity terms, we wait for motivation (or, in other words <inspiration>) to come, how can we be sure we will achieve that thing we want? Exactly, no how. Trust discipline instead. Show up every day to pursue your own goal and you will see how motivation will keep feeding itself without a need to benchmark it.

If you had to name 3 key factors for a productive team, what would you say?

Common goal with a clear mission and vision behind it, fun while working together, and every team member also pursuing something on a personal level while contributing to a common team goal.

Tell us a bit about what is trending when it comes to productivity initiatives these days? How do you measure the success of productivity initiatives?

I think we are already out of that era where employers are trying to bribe employees with fun initiatives. Ultimately, people are the ones responsible for their productivity and motivation. But... also people are one of the key distractions and productivity floppers! How come? I think the best examples of initiatives are self-driven, meaning team members are initiating them by themselves out of some discomfort. I see successful teams establishing such activities: silence hours during the day, where no one can talk/chat/email each other; no meeting days, for example, Fridays; ability to have workations and feel like a nomad; 4 days work week; and many more. Anyway, the initiative should come from employees, and then it is relatively easy to calculate the success rate of these measures taken.

Plan for Life is doing great and it has a lot to do with you as a founder. Maybe you could tell us your personal secret of staying effective at what you do? Maybe some practical tips?

Work less, live life more. Know exactly what you are doing and why. Execute fast. Be focused while executing. Planning is great, replanning is greater. Have a system and structure everywhere you can. Think less, do more. I could list hundreds of such practices here... But let's keep it short and simple. Lastly, simplicity is the key. :)