Management is a challenging task and comes with its fair share of challenges. Being a good manager and balancing things adequately can be a daunting task; however, it can be navigated if handled well.
A successful manager holds the power to uplift employee morale and improve the working output. At the end of the day, effective management is the staircase to success. Keep the following management productivity tips in mind to boost job satisfaction and connect to the ranks of effectual management.
1. Keep A No-Meeting Day
This has to be the first and easiest hack to improve your productivity tremendously as a successful manager. Numerous firms have hopped onto the strategy of keeping a ‘no-meeting day’ once or twice a week.
The rationale behind this is that unnecessary meetings consume time as well as the energy of the employees. The ‘no-meeting day’ will allow the employees to take one day off from all sorts of meetings and invest that energy into building different strategies and products for the company.
Managers are also employees who need their time to deal efficiently with colossal projects. So how about we give them one whole day? Take it this way - how much can you learn, unlearn, focus, plan, re-plan, strategize and much more by diverting all your energy to a single big project?
One day that will be absolutely free with meetings will permit the managers to execute their projects certainly well. They can learn something innovative and new, clean up their spam folder, answer all the necessary emails and unsubscribe from the newsletters and blogs that they won’t be reading anymore.
As for the remaining week, managers can only attend the meetings that are of higher importance and require their presence. This is easily possible if you create a system that allows you to foresee unproductive meetings beforehand. For instance, if you think this meeting doesn’t have any well-recorded or written agenda, you are free to refuse it and invest that time in your project’s work.
2. Don’t Try To Overwork
Take it easy; take one step at a time. This might appear counterproductive, but when you understand it, it really is not. One of the significant issues in today’s corporate world is overburdening.
Trying to catch up on every task or project at one time will not only ruin your productivity but also affects your work quality. If you book a single task for yourself, you can focus on it better and execute it equally well.
According to one of the Harvard Business Review papers, almost 50% of people feel exhausted at work. Not only do they feel burnt out, but they also cannot deliver quality work. The theory behind this is that when managers try to handle several tasks at once instead of focusing on one task, what comes as a consequence is an extreme exhaustion.
To become a successful manager and increase your productivity, you need to switch from multi-tasking to single-tasking. Take one project at a time and get things done in a systematic manner, unlike rushing it up.
By switching to single-tasking, successful managers will be able to get a lot of tasks done every day, and their workload will settle down eventually. In addition, you can use a focus planner to manage your tasks and ensure that you and your team are not overburdened.
3. Avoid Social Media
Digital media, particularly social media, is one of the noisiest tools in the present age. As a matter of fact, excessive use of social media negatively affects the productivity of any working individual.
While successful managers realize the harmful effects of social media on productivity, they also believe in the widespread truth that social networking keeps us all connected. For managers, staying in contact and connecting with their peers and target audience is essential.
If we look at the use of social media platforms the wrong way, it will certainly affect our productivity. But if we look at it the other way - it is nothing but entertainment.
Renowned book author Dr Cal Newport never had a social media account on any of the platforms throughout his life. According to him, his career was, in fact, never affected by it in any way.
While talking about the impacts of not having any social media account in his life, he said that he felt happier, focused and more productive and dedicated towards his work.
In one of his Ted Talks, Dr Cal challenged his audience to take a brave step, quit social media and eliminate all the unnecessary noise from their lives and watch how their productivity will increase ten fold.
However, Dr Cal also emphasized the fact that even if social or digital media is mostly entertainment, you can use it for necessary work whenever needed.
If you are a manager or chief operating officer of any firm, maybe quitting social media might not be an option for you. But what you can do is schedule your time and manage your productivity simultaneously.
As a manager, try to make time slots for digital or social media use just like you do for your official tasks. In this way, your work productivity won’t be jeopardized, and you can stay connected with your peers and audiences as well.
4. Learn To Say “No”
Once, Warren Buffett said” “There lies a remarkable difference between successful and extremely successful people, and that is that very successful people know how to say ‘No’ to almost everything.”
Working managers or employees these days easily fall into the trap of nodding their heads into a ‘yes’ for almost everything that indeed leads them into trouble. Sometimes the tasks you have said a ‘yes’ to might not even matter in the longer run.
As a manager, if you land yourself into such a situation, always remember to blatantly say ‘no’ - especially to the things that are not highly essential.
Think twice and thrice before saying yes to meetings, conferences, public engagements, and corporate events. It doesn’t matter if you have been duly invited or not; as long as it decreases your productivity and you can invest the same time and energy in another task, it is not worth attending.
Take it this way, if you are saying ‘no’ to an unnecessary meeting or conference or even a project, that is equivalent to saying ‘yes’ to other important tasks that require your attention, energy and time. In this way, your productivity will stay balanced and will eventually improve.
5. Clear Up Your Mind
It is undeniable that the more tasks you will do, the more changes you might require before final submission; however, there is no hard and fast rule that you need to remember everything.
The key productivity tip is to clear up your brain before implementing any work-related strategy. You can tick off the tasks in whatever way seems feasible for you but do not excessively store everything in your headspace. This will not help you to relax but will also lead to better productivity in the long run.
6. Set Work Priorities
Setting correct priorities and writing down things on paper or any productivity application can help you increase your productivity as a manager.
A successful manager can organize their task into four different categories. The category goes in this order - tasks that are supremely important and urgent, tasks that, however, are important but can be done later.
The tasks that are not important but need to be done as soon as possible to meet the deadline, and the last category comprises the tasks that are not important and neither are they urgent.
The core productivity tip here is to correctly differentiate between the important and urgent-basis tasks, which sets your work priorities straight. Now what are important tasks, and what are urgent tasks?
Important tasks are those that will aid you in reaching your objectives, while urgent tasks are usually someone else’s objectives but require immediate completion and action.
Now what usually happens, more likely inevitably, is that successful managers or employees focus on the urgent tasks first and ignore entirely the important ones. The reason behind this is that urgent tasks are equally important.
To keep things simple and, most importantly, stress-free, focus on categories one and two, incorporating both important and urgent tasks before turning towards the unimportant ones.
You can utilize the best personal planners to set your work priorities and ensure that your important tasks get done before time. This will not increase your productivity but also ensure that the best results are achieved for your most important tasks.
The most critical task for any firm is for its manager to perform all of his responsibilities timely. The image of a successful manager should always be portrayed as an extremely responsible individual with all the leadership qualities.
An overburdened and exhausted manager will project a sense of fragility amongst their subordinates and working staff. These factors significantly affect the overall productivity of the manager as well as the company.
It is equally important to remember that a competitive and successful manager not only focuses on specific duties and tries to do everything in a go, but they know the art of delegating tasks.
The key advice and crucial productivity tip for a manager are to undertake the responsibility of essential tasks, delegate activities to other team subordinates and improve overall productivity. Always remember to explicitly announce who will be responsible for the designated tasks and be stern about the due dates.
Try also to learn about your different team members’ skills and their areas of expertise and weaknesses. It will make it easier for you to pick the right professional for a certain task, and the likelihood of better results will also increase substantially.
By learning the art of delegation, the productivity of successful managers will improve drastically. They will also be able to dedicate more time to strategic functions which is their primary responsibility in a company.
8. Adopt The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is the best companion for a successful manager. The idea of Pomodoro originated from a tomato-sized timer; however, you are not supposed to use that in your office settings.
Pomodoro works in this manner - you are allowed to take a five-minute break that shall be followed by twenty-five or thirty minutes of work. After you are done working for two continuous hours at frequent five-minute intervals, you are allowed to take a brief thirty-minute rest period to restart.
The Pomodoro technique effectively improves time management skills and sets your work priorities in a correct sequence. With the correct use of the Pomodoro technique, you can divide your work adequately and stay productive for longer periods.
9. Encourage Team Collaboration
When employees sense teamwork, their engagement capacity increases two folds.
Timely and efficient team collaboration is important for the teams to coordinate, collaborate, and submit the tasks on time - most notably, without conflict.
Successful managers can use the best productivity tips and tools to encourage the team’s collaboration. There are numerous technological tools present that manage collaborative projects easily.
Successful managers can use a productivity planner that incorporates a customized template of task management and helps the manager in setting up the project. Every team member involved in the task can monitor their deadlines, required changes and other relevant things.
By implying this strategy, employees will be able to receive instant feedback and can discuss the hurdles, if there are any. Promoting team collaboration helps to increase engagement from the employees and further leads to better productivity.
10. Acknowledge Constructive Feedback
In any race of life, constructive criticism always helps. It opens learning opportunities for employees and successful managers. Feedback also gives clarity about the respective position of an employee.
Always try to pay attention towards the feedback and suggestions that your team members might have. The changes that will be made after feedback will encourage the employees to amplify their performance in future.
Constructive feedback and appreciation also foster a sense of trust in your employees. Not to forget, recognition is another critical aspect of feedback discussions.
According to a survey conducted by BusinessWise, 37 to 40% of the excellent performers of the company feel elated and try to work even better when their feedback is appreciated. Thereby, personal recognition of employees and successful managers can go a long way, and their productivity will speak for itself.
The team’s morale is substantially related to team members’ appreciation and acknowledgement, while a lack of acknowledgement and constructive feedback can end up causing dispute and loss of productivity.
The Bottom Line
Productivity is not only restricted to time-saving, it is a certain practice that leads to successful management. To see a difference in your time management and productivity results, use the above-mentioned productivity tips given for managers.
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