As a leader, you need to keep everyone on track and motivated. This could mean rewarding high performers or creating weekly feedback sessions.
It also means minimizing unproductive tasks such as endless emails or meetings that don’t lead to any decision-making or action. You can do this by scheduling everything.
1. Set Goals
One of the best ways to boost productivity as a leader is by setting goals. Whether it’s benchmarking how much work your team can accomplish in a certain amount of time or setting personal leadership goals for yourself, having clear objectives gives you something to strive for.
But it’s important to avoid setting unrealistic or too low goals, explains Jane Stoller, an expert on organization and productivity. “If you set too low of a goal, you’ll be disappointed when you don’t meet it and won’t be motivated to work harder next time,” she says.
You should also encourage your employees to be more productive by providing them with tools that help them focus and stay on task. Smart calendars and reminder apps are great for managing bigger tasks by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps, while collaboration tools like Slack can help your team stay on track by sending out alerts and notifications for major milestones. Using these tools can even help them fight the cognitive fatigue that comes with switching between different types of work (think answering emails then updating a report then working on slides). Taking this approach can significantly improve their work performance.
2. Create a Clear Plan
Productivity is usually defined by how much work an individual or team produces in a day. It can also be measured by how many projects a team completes, or how many tickets are handled in a queue-based role. Having high levels of productivity is important for businesses to stay competitive and profitable, but it can be difficult to achieve without the right leadership strategies in place.
To be productive, you need to minimize distractions and focus on the things that will move your company forward. This includes cutting out activities that don’t add value, such as unproductive meetings or social media, and tasks that are inefficient or don’t contribute to a company goal.
One way to increase your team’s productivity is by setting SMART goals, which are clear and measurable. Another way is by rewarding your top performers, as studies show that people who are recognized for their efforts work harder. Creating a positive culture, supporting your people’s development and creating an engaging setting are also ways to boost productivity. In fact, the best way to encourage your team to be productive is by being an example of how to work hard.
3. Schedule Everything
Whether you’re a student, middle school kid or professional, a schedule is a tool that visualizes your daily activities, agendas, appointments, tasks, personal goals and work projects. It helps you prioritize and organize your to-do list so that you can complete them at the right time with ease.
For example, instead of constantly checking emails, it’s better to schedule an hour to answer them in a specific time period. This way, you won’t be distracted by every message and will focus on more important tasks first.
Also, encourage your team members to avoid multitasking. The brain uses different parts for each task, and switching between them can strain the noggin and cause stress and fatigue.
Another easy way to boost productivity is by creating a comfortable and decorative workspace with plants, music and meaningful career memorabilia. In addition, make sure the space is free of distractions and that employees take regular breaks. It’s a proven fact that productivity diminishes the longer you go without a break. So, take a walk, read a book or meet with a colleague for lunch.
4. Focus on Teamwork
As a leader, you need to foster teamwork. It’s the only way for everyone to get work done in a timely manner. This means identifying each team member’s strengths, finding ways to let them shine, and encouraging them to spend time on their own interests.
Teams that focus on their strengths every day are more productive than those who don’t. This starts at the top, and it’s up to leaders to make it a priority. They can do this by promoting teamwork, communicating with their teams every day, and celebrating both big and small wins.
Lastly, leaders need to strike a balance between zooming in on the details and seeing the big picture. This can be done by tracking goals in a project management tool like Trello, or by regularly asking employees how they are progressing toward their goals. This allows you to reassure your team that what they’re doing matters. It also shows that you trust them and value their input. And finally, it gives your employees the freedom to take breaks whenever they need to — which in turn increases productivity.
5. Rely on Your People
There’s only so much a leader can do, but their team members are the ones who really know whether or not productivity is working. Encourage your people to voice their concerns during standing meetings or one-on-ones, and listen to them. Then, take what they say into account as you make decisions to optimize processes and improve productivity.
Create the right conditions for a productive workplace, and your people will follow suit. It can be as simple as documenting processes and implementing the right internal collaboration tools like Switchboard, which allows you to eliminate siloed work, share documents and information and work together in one place.
Another great way to foster productivity is by allowing employees the autonomy and flexibility to choose their work environment and schedule according to their most productive times of day. Allowing desk workers to use their own devices, work from home and even set their own office hours will help them feel more in control of their workflows. Let them also block off their time, either by turning off notifications or tagging themselves as busy on the company messaging app to signal that it’s heads-down time for a specific project.