Ask any branch manager about their goals, and they’ll likely mention productivity. As managers, we’re not only in charge of our own productivity but also supporting that of our employees as well. For managers looking to boost performance and efficiency for themselves and employees, here are some top productivity hacks to incorporate into your work week:
Determine your productive hours
Your hours of impact refer to the hours that you tend to be the most alert and productive. This differs for everyone, so make sure you take the time to determine what yours are. From there, you can schedule your most important work tasks during those hours. Though it seems simple, this small shift can save you real time and energy throughout the week.
Manage your environment
One major factor that impedes productivity is your environment. Check in on your workspace — is it organized or full of clutter and distraction? Your success starts with your environment, so create one that’s conducive to your workflow. Sometimes it’s not your office space itself, but the countless interruptions you’re getting throughout the day. While managers do need to be accessible and available to their employees, it’s also essential to set boundaries that keep you from being constantly distracted. Create a few time blocks where you can work without interruption, leaving ample time outside of this window for employees to meet with you as needed.
Cut down on social-media time
The same way your office environment can distract you from optimum productivity, the internet and social-media engagement can do the same. Start reducing the noise by setting social-media limits for yourself. Map out time frames for social media tasks the same way you would with other work tasks. This will help you stick to completing them without spending excessive time.
Reduce transition times
As a manager, you’re expected to switch tasks often throughout the day, but many of these transitions can eat away at your time and productivity. Scheduling your day in blocks of time can help reduce those wasted minutes between tasks. You’ll be able to give specific tasks your full attention, without worrying about what is coming next. You’ll be able to visualize an overview of your day where you can design a workflow that works best for you, putting similar tasks together to optimize efficiency. You can also plan a few ways to utilize the extra minutes that may arise between blocks. For example, if a client is late for a meeting, having other paperwork to complete or a book to read can keep you from wasting valuable time.
Support your employee’s goals
Helping employees to set, stick to, and achieve their goals is a great way to improve your team’s performance. Make your expectations clear, and take time to meet with employees to create goals and check in on progress. Even daily and weekly goals can help the overall productivity of employees and managers themselves. When employees have clear goals to work towards, you’ll be less likely to waste time micromanaging.
Eliminate non-essential meetings
The same way busy work is a waste of time, so are inefficient meetings. While some meetings are necessary for both the team and individuals, managers need to carefully choose which are worthwhile. Ensure that each meeting you create is valuable to your employees. Some offices have even chosen to create one day of the week that’s free of meetings, where employees and managers have more uninterrupted time to accomplish what they need to. Simply being more intentional about the time you give to office meetings can help you and your employees best utilize your time.
Prioritize your time by saying “no”
This productivity hack might be the most important on the list. Exercise your ability to say no. It can be tempting to try to please everyone or take on another project, but turning down certain requests and opportunities is essential to prioritizing what you need to. When you overfill your schedule, you set yourself up for exhaustion and frustration, hindering productivity. Know what your schedule can accommodate, and resist adding things that don’t fit.
Small actions and shifts can make a significant impact on productivity. If you’re working to increase efficiency without compromising performance, give a few of these strategies a try. Do you have any productivity tips that work for you? Let us know in the comments.