This article is part 2 of a four-part excerpt from our latest ebook, Lead Anyone From Anywhere. The previous article can be found here.
Productivity Tips for at Work and at Home
What do you, Beyonce, Bill Gates, the Dalai Lama and Tom Brady all have in common?
Bank accounts? Swagger? Elite athletic abilities? The spiritual leadership of Tibet? So close.
Answer: They all – we all – have 24 hours in each day.
And 24 hours just isn’t enough to cut it most days. So how can you and those you lead prioritize and guard your time, set boundaries, and be more productive at work?
You’ve come to the right place.
Because maximizing productivity comes down to — in large part, anyway — strategizing your week by prioritizing your tasks to schedule time for meetings, activities, appointments, deep work, and administrative duties.
It also includes blocking for fundamental items like project work, scheduled days off, and even fitness or other health goals.
And here’s how you can do just that.
Creating Your Ideal Work Week
Some of you may already be familiar with the rock, pebbles, and sand jar analogy that explains that our time is like a jar.
And in this jar, we must find room for all our rocks, representing the most important projects and things we have going on; the pebbles, representing the things in your life that matter, but that you could live without; and the sand, representing the remaining filler tasks.
At first glance, it seems that all of the things you need or want to do won’t fit. But, when placed strategically, starting with the biggest rocks, everything can — and will — find a place.
Here’s how it works with your Ideal Work Week.
To create your Ideal Work Week, we are going to start by identifying immovable appointments, like meetings, and top priorities, like family, and place them on the calendar first. These serve as anchors for the remainder of your planning. Beyond meetings, this is where you will also account for activities like dental appointments, scheduled days off, and other previously designated engagements.
Once you have your anchors in place, you will have a much more visual view of the time that remains in your week. Resist the temptation to start filling in the white space with random tasks that need to be completed. Similar to the sand and pebbles, a strategy is still necessary to finish out your week successfully.
Filling out the next pieces of your productivity calendar takes some care and planning. First, determine when you are most productive. Is your brain engaged in the morning when you first start your day? Or do you find yourself getting more work done in the afternoon? Whenever you are most productive, this is the time to work on your pebble projects.
The sand represents all of the small items that fill up your day, some are important and some may be unimportant. This is when you need to get specific about the little bits of time you have remaining. This includes email, phone calls, social media, coffee with a friend, and self-care activities.
Now that you’ve created your ideal week, live it out. Communicate to your team that they might see some adjustments to your schedule or meeting times and that you are working to give them your attention when you are at your best.
Structure Your Day and Space
Listen. We won’t even bother rhetorically asking if you often find yourself feeling overwhelmed by every ding, ping, and menacing red-number notification on your every device. We already know the answer.
Because if you’re anything like anyone else living this side of the 21st century, all of the instant-ness of our digital world is enough to drive you mad.
You need boundaries.
Working remotely certainly has its perks, but often, it’s hard to turn work off and turn life on – like fully present ‘on’ – so here are a few ways you can lead your employees to separate business from pleasure – even when it’s all under the same roof.
Communicate, Trust, and Celebrate Delegation
In business, delegation – effective delegation specifically – is a mission-critical skill. And as more organizations move toward a hybrid workforce, leaders must be adept at delegating.
But delegating isn’t easy – at least it doesn’t start that way. It takes practice and commitment and can be the difference between accelerated growth and stalling out.
Delegation isn’t simply a way of unloading your responsibilities; it’s how business owners and leaders can benefit from the powerful, multiplying effects of entrusting others to do that for which they were hired.
As you delegate, you not only free yourself from a busyness mountain of your own creation, but you also, in turn, develop the kind of employees and leaders that allow you, them, and your business to grow.
Your Productivity Wrap-Up
Working and leading from home has its obvious perks: No commute. No weather delays. No chatty colleagues or micromanaging bosses patrolling the hallways.
But what many may not realize is that productivity can actually soar for hybrid employees who work from home. The key to success when it comes to working from home, however, is making sure you establish and then maintain ways to be productive – even when life’s most tempting distractions come calling.
To recap how you can lead your team to maximize productivity when working remotely, be sure to ...
- Create your ideal workweek to manage your energy, guard your time, prioritize your work for maximum productivity and manage your schedule to work more efficiently.
- Structure your day and space to be able to turn work off and turn life on – even when it's all under the same roof.
- Communicate and delegate to benefit from the powerful, multiplying effects of entrusting others to do that for which they were hired.
Lead Anyone From Anywhere: Contemporary Guidance For The Modern Workplace
By design, hybrid culture is laid squarely on a foundation of trust.
So as more organizations move toward a hybrid workforce, managers must be adept at learning to fill gaps with trust.
Trusting isn’t easy – at least it doesn’t start that way. It takes practice and commitment and can be the difference between accelerated growth and stalling out.
You can do it, and this book will help.
Download Lead Anyone From Anywhere to dig deeper and grow as a leader of a hybrid team – for free!