Focus on being productive instead of busy.
If you are working hard, burning the candle at both ends and still not reaping dividends in your career then maybe you are not being as productive as you need to be.
It is time to work smarter to get more done and be seen as efficient in the process.
I know it is not easy, but surely it is time to put down the busy work and get the JOB DONE! Time is ticking after all and your leadership team have deadlines they want you to meet!
Here are some tools and tips to help you improve your productivity.
- Being prepared for your week and tasks will always get you ahead of the game. Plan, create, review in advance of any important task. It may mean getting up earlier, working over the weekend but you will feel very satisfied when you have been successful and with less stress.
- Carve out time to strategise and plan. Look at your diary across the week and block out 30 min a day or an hour a week to plan for your team or think big picture about your career. It will amaze you how much you can get completed over the next quarter or year.
- Prioritise your time and emails like a ninja! Instead of dipping into emails throughout the day, assign 3 times a day to look at emails and for a set time. This avoids "email overload" and reduces the chance of being pulled into conversations that are not productive.
- Only attend meetings where you are required to make a decision, provide inputs or are a critical part of the discussion. Otherwise, excuse yourself or review the minutes. Your time is precious, ensure people treat it as such.
- Multitasking is the enemy of productivity. Doing 3 things at once with a sub-standard outcome is counter-productive. Concentrate on one thing at a time where possible, so it is executed on time, efficiently and with no revisions or corrections.
Once you have incorporated all or some of these tips, your work does not stop there. Knowing that this activity has been valuable is about knowing how much time you have gained and how much more work you have managed to complete with efficiency.
If you are productive, your teams will be too. Aim to remove distractions, non-essential tasks and the impact of external pressures on your day.
These types of habitual changes are essential as you manage your team and a more complex workload. Continue to look up and out as your workload builds, always be one of those managers that has an eye on efficiency and productive change.
It feels good when you hear others debate at the coffee machine how you got so much done with so few people! That will be our little secret!
Drop me a note to let me know how you get on with the tips. Maybe you have your own to add to the list?