It’s not uncommon for people to wear multiple hats at their jobs and have many responsibilities. We are familiar with that overwhelmed feeling that comes with a long to-do list, so we’re here to offer practical ways to knock out that list and focus on what you really need to get done!
These productivity tips will help you spend less time checking emails and more time doing what you love.
This may seem obvious, but a quick way to get things done is by sharing the load. Delegating to your staff will not only help you get stuff done, but will really allow your business to run efficiently. Good delegation ensures that your are people completing tasks based on their strengths while also ensuring that work is completed. It prevents employees from getting burnt out and also allows them to grow.
Fear can hold you back from delegating a certain task – fear that it won’t get done or fear that it will be completed incorrectly. Letting go of these fears will free you up to trust others with certain tasks and responsibilities. If you never give other people the opportunity to take on certain responsibilities, they won’t have the chance to utilize their strengths and flourish.
So how do you delegate well?
First, make a list of items that you need to delegate. What things are you doing that are not a part of your job responsibility? If you’re not sure, one way to determine this is to keep a daily log of how you are spending your time. This will allow you to see where your precious time is actually going and what tasks you need to hand over. At Designflair, we utilize Toggl to track our time. You can also keep a notepad at your desk if you prefer that method. At the end of the day, highlight those things that are eating up your time.
Second, write out your employees and their strengths. Think about past work and ask yourself who accomplished what well. Having a list of people with their strengths listed will help you decide who to give what tasks specifically. Delegating can be a stretch. What if you’re handing over a task for the first time? What if the person you’re delegating to is a new employee? A case study from Harvard Business Review offers a good way to handle that. An experienced managing director, Russell Sy, entrusted a “newcomer” to put together an information packet. According to the article, Russell took this leap of faith by providing “instructions, open lines of communication for questions and comments, and regular checkpoints.”
Lastly, observe and step-in when needed. There’s a saying that goes, “Delegate, don’t dictate.” By truly stepping back from a project or task, you are showing that you trust that person. When an issue arises, then you can step in and assess how to help.
Good delegation will make the best use of your time and free you up to focus on your top priorities. Speaking of priorities…
Of course planning is a major part of productivity. Yet, planning ahead can be one of that last things you want to do. Especially when you’re already overwhelmed. So this one requires a change of mindset. If you want to get things done, you need to remember that planning ahead is worth it! Think of it as ensuring that your future time will be spent effectively.
Pick one calendar to plan everything in. During a busy season in my own life, I felt like I was all over the place. I realized the culprit was that my to-do list was, quite literally, all over the place. I had some events stored in my phone, a bulky notebook with lists for certain projects, and possibly hundreds of post-its with reminders.
To be effective with your planning, choose one application or calendar where you plan everything. Sticking with one spot for planning will prevent you from missing anything you need to do and help you to focus on one thing at a time.
Need help picking a calendar app or looking for a new one? Check out these calendar app summaries from AppAdvice to help you choose which one will work best for your business planning needs.
So there you have it; two ways to help you spend your time wisely! It’s the start of a new year, and I bet for many of you, the pressure is on. There are deadlines to meet, emails to respond to, and new projects to tackle. Take a deep breath and implement these tips – you won’t regret it.
Delegating and sticking to a schedule are just two ways to increase your productivity. So don’t worry, we’ll be back with more tips in the future!