Are you looking to keep that new year’s resolution about becoming more productive as you hone a new business strategy? Finding it hard to keep those resolutions early in 2018?
1. Master Email
Great leaders know how to stay on top of their email, delegate questions effectively, and not get consumed by it. Inc. magazine has a story about Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who infamously forwards emails to his workers with a simple “?” to delegate and gain context without spending too much time.
2. Prioritize and Delegate
Identify which tasks are the most important for you to accomplish, and delegate the rest to others on your team. Taking a closer look at the to-do list is the place to start. What are the items that only you can do and which could be pushed to others?
Now take a closer look at that list and prioritize them for yourself. Which needs to be done first? Which are the most difficult? Which are the most unpleasant?
Now look at those unpleasant tasks and get them out of the way … before lunch. Getting rid of these least desirable items on your list will clear your head and let you move on without the dread of those unpleasant tasks.
3. Know Your Emotional Self
Emotion can derail productivity significantly. Take a self-inventory (or ask others) to identify tasks that trigger negative emotions of anxiety, anger, panic, or disgust. When you know what is triggering those emotions, you can work to alleviate the effects of those emotions when they arise.
4. Take a New Approach to Arguments
Arguments are often so disruptive because the combatants think in terms of wins and losses. Instead, being rational when arguing involves being empathetic about the other person’s viewpoint and thinking instead about what outcomes are possible. What would alternative outcomes mean for both parties? This approach can help remove the emotional flight-or-fight response when in dispute.
Prioritizing your to-do list is a key way to become more productive.
5. Schedule Your Time
Big tasks need uninterrupted, but finite, time periods. Be sure to schedule yourself for the big tasks and carve out blocks of time. Also be sure to have an end point to that time so that you do not get consumed with one thing.
On the flip side, be sure to knock off small, easy tasks such as short phone calls (or email management) so you can spend time with a clear head on the big tasks ahead.
6. Be Better About Meetings
Meetings should have a clear purpose, detailed agenda, and good planning. Be sure you distribute (and insist on receiving) background information and data that can be reviewed in advance. You do not want to waste meeting time determining what the meeting’s objectives are or reviewing information that could’ve been done ahead of time.
With a few modifications to behaviors, leaders can find 2018 to be among their most productive.