Stressed and overworked leaders are scattered throughout the landscape of our current marketplace. The overabundance of emails, phone calls, meetings, reports, and projects create frazzled and overwhelmed employees. Many end the day at work in a near comatose state and greet awaiting families with glazed eyes and exhausted brains. And perhaps worst of all is the nagging doubt that they are effective at work and life in general.
Are you doing the right things?
Peter Drucker coined a phrase that is helpful in assessing productivity. “Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” A primary area I challenge leaders to look at is, “What do you need to stop doing?” Why? Because busyness is not a sign of productivity, effectiveness is.
The secret to productivity is finding the few things most vital for your focus and energy. You need to get serious about what you allow yourself to do. You may be asking, “ What about everything else?” It will seem daunting and counterintuitive at first, but you can take many things off your plate. Then you are free to be your best in the few primary areas.
Four ways to increase your productivity
Delegate– The first option is to ask, “Who else can and should do this?” Most of us don’t delegate because we believe we will do the task better and it will take too long to train someone else. Get over it, and let it go! Others are able to do much of what you do and perhaps even better. If you work for yourself consider hiring a VA, virtual assistant.
Automate– Here is where process and systems can automate routine tasks. Productivity tools exist to assist you with everything from email, scheduling, and more.
Negotiate– If you are not the boss, learn the art of negotiating the tasks in your job description. Healthy teams choose to play to each other’s strengths rather than tolerate less productivity. Trade-offs often increase everyone’s results.
Eliminate– Here is a surprisingly powerful concept: stop doing some things. Not every email needs a reply, delete it and notify the person you want off the thread. Not every meeting is important enough for you to attend. Let the leader know you won’t be coming. When you use the tool of elimination, the results and freedom are amazing. Life goes on without those things. In fact, life and work are better!
Take an area of work and apply one of these productivity tips. Then do it again with another and another. You will begin to see that change is in your hands.
Do you feel this need in your leadership? As a certified Effectiveness Coach I collaborate with business owners, executives and leader-managers to reduce stress and achieve more. If you are interested in finding out more, let’s connect for a free 30 minute consultation