John Rampton is the founder of Palo Alto (California-based) CalendarA company that will make your calendar more productive.
Everybody has a different strategy for staying productive every week. While we don’t necessarily utilize every productivity technique out there, we all have at least one favorite. These are the strategies I use most often and I recommend them to my team. Time management methods such as knowing what is actually urgent, utilizing a calendar and minimizing unnecessary meeting time, are three of my team’s most-used strategies. Aside from helping my individual team members stay productive, these strategies are great at increasing productivity for my team’s collaboration as a whole. Here are three things that you can do to turbocharge your work week.
1. Know What’s Actually Urgent
Urgency can hit some team members harder than others, and here’s why: Some team members have a more difficult time distinguishing between what is urgent and what is not. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it shows their dedication to everything they do in the workplace. People who feel most things must be done immediately might believe this is a good thing. But, in reality, it can cause burnout.
Instead, I encourage my team to prioritize only what’s truly important. They may think that they have to do all the tasks or projects on their list at once, but there are always more that can wait for the next day. If the tasks are deadline-based projects, it’s still the team member’s responsibility to communicate the project status to the project managers to keep them up to date. Prioritize projects that are time-bound. Not prioritizing other tasks, even if they are urgent, is a bad idea. Encourage your team to take a step back to look at each day’s to-do list and assess what is absolutely crucial for that day. They will be able to identify tasks that can be moved to the next day.
2. Utilize A Calendar
The number of calendar apps available is increasing and they are versatile. While it is hard to pinpoint just how many calendar apps there are out there, I’ll say that the number one way my team and I use our calendar software is by having a team calendar. We can easily schedule team events by having a shared calendar that we all can use. It is also possible to easily schedule smaller events like one-on-one meetings. Scheduling is my team’s go-to when it comes to meetings and events. We try to stick to, and respect, each other’s calendars.
Also, I encourage my team members to put time blocks on their calendars to schedule personal events. This could include appointments or work time. If someone has to schedule an event they can look at their calendar first and check if they are available. Individuals can really benefit from being given the time they need to work on a particular project. By having everyone respect each other’s time, we tend to be able to have a more relaxed environment where communication is promoted through scheduling tools. This gives my team a chance to collaborate better and respect each other’s time.
3. 3. Reduce the time spent on unnecessary meetings
Meetings can have a major impact on the productivity of everyone involved. If it’s a short meeting that is to the point, it’s a productive one. If it’s a long one that has been dragged out to over thirty minutes and little has been accomplished, it can put a damper on the meeting attendees’ productivity. Meetings should be short and to the point.
In addition to having shorter meetings you could also consider emailing any information that can be sent as such. A collaborative document could be created that lists all important points and can be sent to your team to answer any questions. It will save all parties’ time. It will allow them to ask questions at their own pace and answer any queries they may have throughout the day. There is no need to hold a lengthy meeting when you can do it via email or collaboration space.
It’s important to have a few productivity strategies for your team to utilize. This will allow them more freedom and give them more responsibility for completing their projects on schedule. What works for some team members might not work for others, so it’s important to avoid forcing one strategy on everyone. My team tends to make the best decisions. Consequently, project deadlines are not an issue, and there is resounding mutual respect for everyone’s time on my team, giving us successful supercharged workweeks.