Being productive with your time is an important part of running an effective team.
As a manager, it's important to be able to motivate your team to be as productive as possible. However, you shouldn't neglect the need to have strong time-management skills for your own schedule.
Not only does this set your team a great example on the benefits of making the most of your time, but it also means you are being as effective as possible.
Although it's obviously beneficial for individuals and the wider team, productivity among management is a problem for many organizations. So how can you make sure your schedule is as efficient as possible?
Don't just accept meetings
As someone in management, you get invited to a lot of meetings. However, your presence is only going to be absolutely essential for a handful of them. Whenever you are sent an invite for an appointment, ask the organizer what the point of the meeting is and why you were included. With this information you can decide whether you are absolutely necessary to get the most out of the meeting or if it will work just as well without you.
Have email check-ins
Emails can be an almost-constant distraction in business, so instead of having one eye on your inbox constantly allocate strict times when you will look through and respond to messages. You'll probably want to do this first thing in the morning and then probably again at some point in the afternoon. Reducing the amount you look at your inbox limits the amount you're likely to get distracted from your daily tasks.
Introduce regular 1-2-1s
It's important to listen to the people in your team, but having them trying to discuss issues with you at any point in the working day can mean your productivity suffers. Instead, introduce regular 1-2-1 sessions with each of your employees to talk about any matters that are concerning them. This reduces the chance that you'll get caught in a conversation when you're in the middle of a task, but employees will still feel able to talk to you. It also means that only pressing matters will interrupt you from your schedule, and makes the rest of your team more productive.
Create a list
Try writing a list of what you need to do every morning (or week, depending on your turn-around). Organizing your to-do’s this way not only helps you to think about what needs doing, but to also visualize the list of tasks for the day ahead. By writing them out, you’re also able to prioritize them more effectively and ensure that nothing gets forgotten of missed out. When you do find yourself distracted throughout the day, it will be easier to come back to the current task at hand and re-focus.
Trust your employees
Micro-managing is not an effective way to spend your time. Trust your employees are doing the best they can do, and if you see them daydreaming or doodling on a notepad, that doesn’t mean they’re not being constructive with their work. We all need a five minute break every now and again, not only can this help with productivity but it can also boost creativity too.
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