5 Boosts to Workplace Productivity
There are only so many hours in the day, so making the most of your time and resources is critical-both for a leader and his or her team. There are 5 key ways increase your individual or collective output-these are:
- Ensuring that you and your team have High Clarity and Focus
- Engaging Seriously in Planning and Time management
- Deliberately Helping to Build a culture of Teamwork and collaboration
- Establishing agreed Execution task/project plans
- Designing Planned Rest and Relaxation into the schedule
Lets look at each of these in a little more detail:
Having High Clarity and Focus
Higher levels of productivity rarely comes about by accident-it first comes about because leaders are aware of what is most important and then ensuring that people are clear about these priorities. In practice this means being as clear as possible and ensuring that both the leader’s team and the team’s time is focused on what matters most (and not on the many other minor priorities or distractions that will always arise).
Engaging Seriously in Planning and Time management
Even though we may be clear about our priorities not everything can be done at once and there are often conflicts, which means that people, money and resources have to be assigned in the most intelligent ways possible. This boils down to careful sequencing or planning what needs to get done and by when and who will be accountable for managing the effort. The team leader and the responsible individual can then manage their time to ensure that they are giving sufficient attention to what matters most in an organized way.
Deliberately helping to build a culture of Teamwork and collaboration
This may sound obvious at face value but we often think of teamwork and collaboration as a general aim which centers on all individuals being as cooperative as possible at all times. However, to be productive se want the team to be collaborative around the priority tasks and projects that are most important to get done. In practice this means that some individuals may need to be flexible enough to swing their efforts away from a lower priority task to help an individual or group with a higher priority task, whenever necessary.
Establishing agreed execution task/project plans
One we have focus and a broad plan, and a committed team that is ready to work on the highest priority tasks, we need to make sure that the effort is not only well-aligned but that there is agreement of the detailed execution plan (especially when the task or project is large, long or complex). What this means in practice is that how sub-tasks are to be done in clear and tangible terms (with by who and by when clearly identified) are known to all involved individuals with key measures and milestones identified to track progress along the way.
Designing planned rest and relaxation into the schedule
When we talk about productivity we conjure up images of people work long and hard on one or more tasks. However, sustained productivity is better achieved when individuals at all levels are alert and well rested, and for this to occur we need to design rest and relaxation into the schedule. This will clearly vary according the demands of a given project but should always ensure that workload is shared and that everyone gets a chance to re-charge their batteries regularly.
Not only does every leader need to adopt each of the above as a consistent practice every day, but ideally in this order every time important tasks or projects are commenced.