According to Gallup survey only 13% of employees are engaged at work, worldwide. Inspiring young leaders need to collaborate and motivate 6 people out of 10. Innovative methods like paying employees to quit or using online team monitoring tools such as Weekdone have become popular. No wonder we talk so much about productivity and time management. But before achieving the most productive week of your lifetime, you need to acknowledge three simple truths. As a young leader myself, I can assure that the easiest facts in life are the ones we often miss. These three truths are so evident that only experienced professor John Levine, could point them out:
1. There is a rapidly rising tidal wave of information and this wave will rise forever.
For every productivity article you read, 2 new ones are written. So, it is impossible to know everything. The biggest mistakes that young leaders often make is trying to figure out everything and truly focusing on nothing. Just accept it, it is humanly impossible to read every useful blog post and take into account every piece of advice.
2. There is ferocious competition for people´s limited time. Everyone you want to reach has 1440 minutes in their day, not even one second more, and most of that time is already planned.
No matter if you are Mark Zuckerberg or the next most talked about young leader, you still have the same amount of hours. This is the only resource that does not magically reproduce itself. What you could do is spend it wisely.
3. The world is becoming more and more complicated, but people will give you their time and attention if you give them more of what they want.
Taking into account a typical day, there is not much room left for unexpected items. The time is already planned for eating, sleeping, working. As a young leader, you need to first prove yourself to others before they will even consider giving you attention. With a limited time schedule, this might seem impossible.
Keeping these simple truths in mind, how could a productive week be achieved?
Our experience in Weekdone has given us quite a bit of information that is worth sharing with everybody. As we have been in the market of online productivity – team management and monitoring tools for few years now – we have noticed certain trends and challenges that a lot of managers face. Learning from others’ experience might not be the most effective way, but as we are faced with deficit of time, young leaders can not afford to make these themselves.
Therefore, we summarized our experience and put it into one infographic. What could be better than letting your eyes rest and follow the images to capture some value:
But if this picture does not say more than thousand words, the top 5 ways for productive week are:
1. Limit the number of your plans
You cannot say yes to everything. Even though you are a young leader, who is eager to finish every single task, you will encounter the simple truths talked about earlier. There just is not enough time in the day to do everything and there will always be more things out there than you could finish. So start with weekly planning and limit the number of tasks to five. Why five? You have five working days in a week. Our clients have proven that focusing on a limited number of tasks gets you further. Having bigger tasks per day keeps your focus on the right position. Following this logic, you will have at least one thing done in the end of the day.
2. Stop multitasking right now.
Recent surveys have shown that even women are not so good at multitasking than it was previously thought. Multitasking decreases your productivity by 40% and even lowers your IQ. So just stop it; focus on the task that was planned in the beginning of the week and persist the temptation to jump online the minute you feel frustrated. Go deep with the task at hand and the results will follow.
3. Take time to reflect
Start a new habit and end each Friday by reflecting on your week. List everything that got done and look for improvements. If it is hard to do it alone, then find a sparring partner. Somebody, who knows your goals and can mirror them right back to you. It will bring tremendous results and you start to see the cause and effect relationships more clearly. But do not settle with your own evaluation, ask your co-workers, employees, managers for feedback.
4. Communicate, share, communicate
We all get stuck and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. It is only natural not being able to give 100% all the time. So, when you feel stuck, communicate the problem to the team. Share your plans with the rest of the team and let them know what you are working on. Communication is an essential part in every team and it should be done continuously, especially when being stuck. Otherwise, you will waste time trying to find a solution that might be evident to others. To communicate effectively, you must understand that we are all different in the way we perceive information and use this understanding as a guide to communication.
5. Do not get carried away
Sharing and communicating might be effective when done with moderation. Where does the line goes between moderate communication and over communication? This is a tricky question. But the moment you are interrupting others with information that is not useful nor helpful, is the moment you should change your strategy. Simply by changing your channel might do the trick.
All in all, whatever you do keep in mind the three simple truths. Be nice to yourself and do not expect to have it all by doing it all. There are times when a person needs to surrender and admit that the technology has overpowered us. What we could do is make simple changes into everyday life that will start saving our time instead of wasting it.
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Today’s post is from guest blogger Külli Koort.
Külli is currently working at Weekdone weekly reporting startup, where she is focused on introducing the easiest and most efficient weekly reporting tool to the world. She likes to write about time management, productivity and employee engagement.