We’re all different aren’t we? Some of us need a tight deadline to focus the mind. Some of us need a clear ‘to do’ list to work our way through and feel good about as we start to tick things off. Whatever it is that gives you the boost you need to get everything done, especially when you have a lot of balls in the air, be aware and try to harness it on the days the motivation isn’t coming quite so naturally.
I’m writing this blog on the back of a productive session – one more tick on the list before I finish for the day. I know I’m affected to a degree by the weather. It’s not warm but the sun is shining today and that in itself helps my productivity. Admittedly that’s a tough one to control but there are other things I know I can control that helps me to do everything I need to do.
Make a list
I’ve always found lists helpful. I have a list for everything and if I don’t have my list handy when something pops into my head, I write it down or even e-mail it to myself, so I find it when I next log in. We can all hold a certain amount of information in our heads but when it starts to get overloaded it’s only natural that things start to slip.
Sometimes we have to admit that we can’t do it all ourselves, so we have to delegate. This can be hard for some people but there are lots of tools that can help you hand over control gradually and in a way that you are comfortable with. Whether you are delegating to in-house members of your team or outsourced freelancers you can maintain full visibility of delegated tasks via regular communication, or via tools that are dedicated to precisely such visibility. Trello (www.trello.com) or Asana (www.asana.com) are just two examples of the kind of software that is available to help you manage your projects in the most efficient way.
Track your time
If you’re not yet sure which areas you need to delegate, it might be useful to track your time for a week or a two. We all think we know where we spend our time, but often our perceptions are wildly out of kilter with reality. It’s also very easy to focus on the jobs we enjoy and leave the tasks we don’t by convincing ourselves that what we are doing is important. By tracking your time, you might find that you are spending too much time in areas that are no longer adding value. And perhaps there are more important areas of the business that are being neglected.
To increase productivity, it may simply be a case of being more mindful of what motivates us, how we spend our time and which behaviours we can adjust to become more productive without burning ourselves out. Or it might be time to delegate. If you are spending too much time on an aspect of the business that could be handed over to someone else, or if you don’t have time to do the things you know you need to do to drive the business forward, it is probably time to delegate.
Once you have identified the areas you need to delegate, you can set about delegating them. This could be to various in-house fractions, or perhaps to an outside resource. A company’s marketing is one area that often gets left when things get busy and top of the list of things to get forgotten, is your business blog. Smart businesses know they need to blog but getting around to doing it regularly is another matter. By delegating this and any other aspects of the business that you know you are simply not giving the attention they deserve, will boost your own productivity and the productivity of your business.