Everyone is on a quest for improving team effectiveness.
Here are our favorite tips which you can start today!
- Start your day with your most important tasks, without letting your day be managed by meetings and email. The actual time for this could vary depending on your time zone, especially if you are working in geographically distributed teams. The point is, you need to make sure your critical tasks are finished before lower priority tasks take over.
- This begs the question, do you have a clear picture of your to-do-list? Whether you manage the list in the cloud, in a notebook or otherwise, be sure your list is complete and prioritized. Without having a comprehensive view of what you are responsible for, you risk forgetting or delaying tasks and as a result impacting your team negatively.
- Next, cut your meeting times in half. Collaborate with your team to plan meetings well in advance and ensure that agendas, objectives and materials are distributed 2-3 days prior. Schedule 30 minutes instead of 60 minutes and focus on the essential discussion and decision-making during the meeting. Don’t rehash materials if someone did not come prepared.
- With the calendar load lightening, create calendar blocks where you can focus on work you have to accomplish. Ideally everyone understands their own productivity rhythm and blocks off time accordingly. Such personal time blocks will need to be balanced against meetings and collaboration time.
- With a well-adjusted calendar, embrace ‘grouping tasks’ and stop multi-tasking today. Identify your typical tasks and group related tasks together. You may have groupings such as email follow-up, research and documentation, where these groups will vary depending on your role. Allot time for those groups on your calendar, just like the earlier created blocks.
- Be sure to take more breaks, as it is proven that frequent breaks recharge us and ensure greater creativity as well as productivity. Pomodoro is nice technique to help you practice this and apps are readily available. The 25 minute time blocks are great for working through the groups of tasks you established earlier.
- Chances are, your days are much improved at this point. Challenge yourself to review your week periodically and examine what was particularly painful or time-consuming. Define concrete actions for next week to address those issues.
These techniques can be easily implemented across teams. It will require a bit of negotiation at first, but so does any type of change. Happy Productivity!