Category Archives: More Time

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Lead the way with Productivity

FOCUS & LEAD BY EXAMPLE

As Leaders we have the opportunity to set the standard for improved personal productivity by leading by example in our attitudes, actions and communications.  However the challenge is to remain focused amidst all the distractions of the day to day workplace.  When you are focused on the organisation’s direction and the performance goals of your overall team, you are able to identify priorities across your department.  You can then determine the High Payoff Activities (HPA’s) that will help you and the others achieve their priorities and goals.

FOCUS ON HIGH PAYOFF ACTIVITIES (HPA’S)

The quickest and most effective way to increase productivity is to spend time and effort on the activities that create the highest payoff and advance you towards the important goals – your HPA’s.  Pareto’s principle states that 80 percent of our results are achieved through 20 percent of our activities.  The remaining 80 percent of our activities produce 20 percent of our results.  Ensure that you have identified your HPA’s and focus your time on the work that really matters.  Otherwise you may be consumed by trivial activities and details.  As a leader you may be spending time completing tasks or solving problems that can be completed or solved by others.

EMPOWER, DELEGATE AND TRAIN

Empower, delegate and train others to complete tasks that are not your priority and to solve their own problems rather than constantly bringing them to you.  This approach saves you valuable time and gives others the opportunity to develop their own skills.  In the process you will increase their confidence, engagement and sense of ownership when it comes to new tasks, problem solving and the results that they achieve.  Also, as the leader, help others in your team to identify and spend their time on their own HPA’s to improve their productivity.

GET STARTED

There are 2 reasons that account for failure to achieve goals, or to accomplish important jobs or tasks.   People either never START or they never FINISH.

Begin on the important work and continue without relying on the emotion of “Feeling like doing it”.    Getting started is often the most difficult part of the project.  Some people put off getting started as they are waiting to have all of the information and resources available or waiting for the right time to start.  In some cases you may never have all the information and some jobs may never be easy, now or at a later date.  Develop a step by step plan of action by breaking the project down into more manageable logical smaller action steps to achieve at each stage.  As you start achieving each of these steps in a systematic method, you will be able to tick them off and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that enables you to complete the project.

EXERCISE SELF DISCIPLINE

Self-discipline enables leaders to stay focused on the task and work through until it’s completed.  Once you establish your priorities, avoid all distractions or interruptions that sway your focus and concentration from the completion of the task.

Discipline yourself to give the tasks only the amount of time and effort they really deserve from you.  Otherwise delegate them to other appropriate team members.  As a leader, either of these actions will require thoughtful evaluation and consideration as well as the application of strong leadership self-discipline.

ENGAGE YOUR PLANNING SKILLS AND PERSISTENCE. 

As leaders, careful planning and goal setting, combined with our determination to succeed, are vital to ensuring that we maintain and improve our own personal productivity.  This combination of factors enables us to be persistent.

Persistence is always a major characteristic of successful individuals and leaders.   Many people eagerly take on new jobs, new responsibilities or new assignments starting with a great splash of enthusiasm, excitement and progress.  However, they soon lose momentum and focus, never completely finishing the job.  In contrast, productive people set definite goals and priorities, plan carefully and then focus and concentrate their attention on what is required to complete the goal.  Persistent leaders keep their goals in mind and work tenaciously towards achieving them.  Your persistence will also become an important characteristic to model for your team. 

STRIVE FOR RESULTS NOT PERFECTION

For many leaders an over emphasis on perfection can lead to negative outcomes.  Productive people decide what’s important and what’s not.  They set aside a reasonable amount of time to accomplish a specific task and stick to their deadlines.  They are also conscious of the standards and quality factors required.

Even on genuinely significant projects, truly productive individuals strive for results, not 100 percent perfection.  Effective leaders recognise that some tasks are simply not important enough to require their time or effort.  When you focus on improving your own productivity through focusing on priorities, delegating, getting started, exercising self-discipline and demonstrating persistence, you role model the behaviours that you want your team members to emulate and copy.

Leading by example and improving your own personal product performance and productivity is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your individual team members and the team as a whole becomes more focused and more productive.

The majority of our readers enjoy either an informal or formal leadership role.  However, every single leadership role is unique.  Titles given to leaders vary substantially and the responsibilities vary from department to department and organisation to organisation.   But, no matter how different the title, the job description or the nature of the product or service of the organisation, all leaders have one important common responsibility.  They are all responsible for achieving certain results, performance and productivity with and through other people.  It’s the leader’s role to harness the unique potential of those they lead to bring about exceptional results and achieve the team and organisational goals.

Leadership goes beyond management.  Genuine leadership involves gaining engagement and commitment from those you lead so they, like you, understand and willingly play their part in the overall purpose and success of the organisation.  Leadership involves the ability to communicate, to enable and to empower people to take meaningful and productive actions.  Leadership is the ability to take others to new heights.

Successful leaders recognise that the outcomes they achieve are determined by the quality of their leadership, the clarity of their communication and the strength of their relationships.  Leaders who develop their skills in these areas the most, achieve the highest productivity and produce the most outstanding results.  However, most leaders are focused on and concerned about improving two different kinds of productivity and results.  Their own personal performance, productivity and results as well as the performance, productivity and results of their team.

Although these two areas of focus may at first seem unrelated, in a practical sense, personal and team productivity are intertwined, synergistic and cannot be separated.  A leader must demonstrate and model the attitudes and behaviours that he or she expects others in the team to follow.  These team members’ attitudes, behaviours and activities determine the success of the team.  By developing the correct attitudes and behaviours in each person, the overall team productivity and results will grow.

Over the next 12 months, our communications will be focused on providing insights and valuable suggestions for developing leadership skills, improving results and achieving greater success.

In each calendar quarter we will focus on one particular aspect of developing personal and team success. 

July – Productivity

August to October – Communications and Relationships

November to January – Continuous Improvement

February to April – Culture

May to July – Leadership

At LMA we are totally committed to providing you with valuable information and insights that you can translate into actions and activities in the workplace to achieve greater results and success.

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50 Tips to Power Up Your Productivity

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
Paul J. Meyer

Harnessing the power of productivity can drastically change the way you feel in your role, in your home life and about your own development.

Being more productive means you can get more out of each day, in less time and with less resources. It’s the ultimate win-win for both you and for your organisation.

The big question is: how do we become more productive?

There is no one single trick that will turn up the dial on your productivity. Instead, we’ve provided you with 50 of Leadership Management Australia’s top tips for boosting your time, energy and attention for the sake of your personal productivity.

Use the form above to download the 50 Tips to Power Up Your Productivity eBook, share it on social media or print and keep it as a reminder.

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Don’t Overheat – Tips for a Productive Team

Recently, 200 governments attended the Climate Change Conference in Paris with the aim of crafting the world’s most significant agreement to address climate change in an attempt to keep global warming in check.

With so many parties involved in highly technical and political discussions about how to limit emissions from fuels that drive their economies, it’s remarkable anything was ever agreed.

There was undoubtedly differences of opinion in these discussions; the media covering the conference often reported on the levels of disagreement the group faced throughout the conference. However, despite the disagreements, the group worked together and ended the conference with a historic deal on climate change.

This is what any group must achieve; to work together to solve the problem. However, there are many ways for a team to communicate ineffectively, so it is integral that any team or project group know what can and should happen in team meetings.

If your organisation often requires group projects and collaborative meetings then it is important to know how to communicate effectively and get the most productivity out of your team.

Leave Emotions at the Door

It is human nature to get emotional about issues we are passionate about, or to take offence when others don’t agree with our views. However, when we let our emotions get the better of us we can become less productive and the whole discussion can fall apart and the only result you get will be arguments or hurt feelings.

If you feel like a fellow team member is being disrespectful to your views it is important to find a constructive way to communicate that to them. At the same time, everyone needs to keep an open mind and engage in active listening. Active listening means everyone should be taking notes, asking relevant questions to what is being discussed and even repeating what another team member has said to clarify their meaning if you are unsure. People can make assumptions on something that is said, rather than taking it for its true meaning. If this is the case, asking questions and repeating what someone has said will help you to clarify their exact meaning.

Effective Management

Any team needs to have someone leading the discussion, whether it be a manager in the organisation or a team member elected before the meeting. The most important aspect of this person’s role is to keep everyone in order and identify when effective communication is lacking.

An effective leader needs to be on top of what is being discussed and keep everyone on track. Make sure the team keeps its focus and sticks to the matters at hand.

Teams can spend too much time discussing the issue or task, rather than implementing strategies to solve the problem – a team leader’s job is to ensure this doesn’t happen. If they notice that a problem is not getting solved they need to address it with the team and get them communicating more effectively and working on their problem solving skills.

 Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Try to identify any issues that you think may arise when you are setting a new task or deadline, rather than letting the issue present itself and reacting accordingly. If problems are handled in a reactive way then the team will always be a step behind, which can cause unwanted stress and affect productivity.

One way to be proactive is to determine what tasks are the most critical and delay the non-critical tasks. A great way to do this is to keep a spreadsheet, or similar style list, that details everything the team needs to discuss or accomplish. Label items that are critical or place date deadlines on them and highlight items that can be held to a later date. This ensures you are discussing only what you need to and can focus your time on the most important items. As a result, the team can adequately discuss the task and present their ideas and any concerns, so that if problems arise, they can address them swiftly.

Each team member should make a list of the items you feel are the most important to discuss, that way you come into the discussion prepared to address your views in the best way possible. Meetings can often get off track when people ‘wing it’ and don’t pre plan what they want to discuss or issues they need to address.

Being proactive also requires looking at the processes in your company in order to ensure that, if a problem does arise, dysfunctional processes don’t inflame the situation and create frustration. Create a flow chart of responsibilities so that each team member knows where to go if the need presents itself and there is no undue waste caused by lack of communication and going to the wrong area for resolution.

Get all team members involved in being proactive, as they can better advise of any task-related difficulties in their particular area, which can help to anticipate and avoid future problems.

When teams run effectively it helps to create a harmonious environment for all employees and increases productivity and profitability.

Is your team functioning effectively? LMA’s new DIY Teamwork Analysis Tool is designed to assess your team’s current performance level and identify areas for improvement. Click here to start the DIY Teamwork Analysis.

 

 

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Motivate and Dominate – 5 Motivation Strategies to Increase Productivity

A great indication of a successful manager is one who has employees who are motivated to perform their jobs at a high level. It is easy to see that higher employee motivation leads to more productivity and therefore more profitable business growth. Therefore, it is important for a manager to understand motivation and how to garner it from their employees.

Motivation, and what triggers it, has been studied for decades and workplace leaders have used assessments to determine an employee’s personality and better anticipate their behaviours. But assessment scores alone will not show you all you need to know, it is important for managers to get to know their staff and learn how to be more specific in their approach to motivating them and understanding their goals and aspirations.

As great as it would be, there is no one method to motivate your employees. Your employees are all very different from one another, so different factors affect their motivation. Some people are motivated by money, others by rewards, some prefer recognition, and some people just motivate themselves to achieve. Supervisors and managers need to utilise a number of different strategies and techniques to increase their employee’s motivation and productivity.

We have compiled a list of motivational strategies for managers to apply in order to harness the most productivity and results from their staff, and to provide a happy, thriving working environment.

Motivator 1 – Trust

This is one of the most important aspects in any organisation and it is a two way street. Employees want to know that their manager is looking out for their best interests, which motivates them to succeed. In turn, leaders also want to know that they can trust their staff to do their jobs properly. It is up to the manager to ensure this trust is built with their employees and to be able to communicate effectively with each individual and foster positive relationships.

Motivator 2 – Reward System

Incentives are a great way to promote motivation. Employers can use many types of incentives or reward programs to increase productivity and motivation among staff. Incentives can come in many forms, whether it be bonuses, paid time off, travel perks, or vouchers. It offers employees something to strive for and gives them a bit of healthy competition.

Motivator 3 – Recognition

The simple of act of letting an employee know they are doing a great job and recognising their efforts can do wonders for their motivation. As humans, we like to hear when what we are doing is appreciated and it creates a sense of accomplishment. In turn, this motivates us to keep achieving and keep receiving recognition. Of course, there is no need to recognise everything someone does, but make sure you take the time to congratulate a job well done.

Motivator 4 – Career Advancement

Employees are much more likely to achieve if it means that a career advancement lies ahead of them. As a manager, you can sustain this motivation by ensuring there are avenues and opportunities for your employees to advance in their positions. You can also provide them with opportunities for further qualifications or on the job workshops. It lets them know they are valued and makes them more committed to their positions. In fact, LMA’s L.E.A.D Survey 2013 showed that 79% of employees said that opportunities for training and development is ‘Quite’ or ‘Very Important’ to their decision to stay in their current organisations. Visit LMA’s Principles of Learning to establish the best direction for implementing learning in your organisation

Motivator 5 – Happiness

At the end of the day, if employees are happy in their jobs they are more motivated to do the best job they can. As a manager, you need to be aware of whether your employees are satisfied or not. Don’t assume that simply having a conversation with them regarding their happiness will be enough, they may smile and say yes if they think it is what you want to hear or if they are worried their job is on the line. The process to happiness and job satisfaction can be influenced by ensuring the previous factors are evident in your company and letting happiness be an organic process.

As a manager, it is important that you are focused on ways to continuously improve your business and staff. Finding ways to keep your staff motivated to perform at their best is a key part of any managerial role. If managers can understand the factors that lead to employees performing at higher levels, they can increase the performance of entire departments.

Can you identify ways that you can implement some of these motivational techniques for higher productivity in your business?

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Losing Time: tips for effective time management

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”
Jim Rohn

How often do we tell ourselves there aren’t enough hours in the day, that we don’t have enough time to get everything done, and that we certainly couldn’t fit in any new projects. Not having enough time can lead to worry and stress, which means even less tasks being completed.

The truth is, there is a way for you to create enough time in the day for you to accomplish what you want to, but it is the inability to manage your time effectively and efficiently that leads to chaos and stress.

But just saying there is a solution doesn’t always mean we follow it; many of us have seen the articles that tell us how to manage our time effectively, but never seem to take notice of them. Why is that?

We all know how different people can be, which means how we operate can be immensely different. The key is to find what works best for you and to adjust it to your style. In addition, the key to implementing an effective time management system is repetition. Repetition makes a habit, and that habit will make you much more effective at time management in both your work and home life.

So how do you find the method that works best for you? Below are a list of the most effective time management methods used and how to use them; not all of these are necessary to adopt in to your daily lifestyle, the best thing to do is find one that you know you can stick to and go from there. If you over commit yourself to trying to implement every suggestion you will find that none of them stick and you are back where you started.

Effective Time Management Tools:

To Do List

This is probably the best place to start for anyone looking to improve their time management. Some of us think that we can keep all of our tasks in our heads with no need to write them down, but it simply isn’t feasible. We will always forget something along the way or remember it too late. Each morning you should write your to-do-list for the day and as soon as something else comes up, write that down too. By visually acknowledging and tracking what you need to do you will find yourself becoming much more productive. There is also the excitement that follows marking off a task, knowing you are one step closer to your daily, weekly, or long term goals.

Prioritise

If you can work out what needs to be done in your day then you will already notice a boost in your productivity. One of the biggest problems people face with effective time management is that they don’t always consider what it is they need to be doing and how long it will take them to do it. Each morning you should prioritise your day – what is important? What can wait? By working that out you can get focused on what you need to and get things done faster.

Avoid Distractions

Interruptions can be detrimental to your time management, to your performance and to the performance of those around you. Of course, interruptions can happen and are not avoidable at all times, but it is important to set aside some time where you aren’t interrupted. If you are at work, close your door and take your phone off the hook – it lets people know that you are in the middle of something important and that they should come back another time. It is also important to leave your emails unattended in that time so that you don’t get off track with your current task. The same goes with working from home, place your phone on silent and out of reach, keep your email browser closed and keep your head in the game, focusing on what you want to get done.

Breaks

Always ensure you give yourself time for a break. At the start of the day, whether you are writing a list or prioritising, make sure one of those priorities is a block of time to clear your head. A 15 minute break can work wonders for you and makes you much more productive upon return – go for a walk, read a book, make a snack, anything that gets you away from your workspace for a while. You will find that the time away refocuses you.

Perseverance

Whether you have a list or not, things don’t always go according to plan and we run in to snags along the way, the important thing here is how to deal with it. If you let yourself give up or get angry it can be detrimental to both your work and your overall wellbeing.

Log your time

A great way to see where you are spending too much or not enough of your time is by keeping a time log. Keep a notebook beside you, or even a digital document open, to log when you start something and when you finish it, as well as any hiccups you encountered along the way. This goes well with prioritising, as it will give you the ability to see where you need to dedicate more or less time to things.

Implementing just one of these steps can put you on the path to better time management and becoming much more effective and efficient. Once you implement one step, you may even find yourself on track to implement others.

You need to choose to want to change your habits, as no one but you can change how you operate. Don’t let your day run you, make sure you run your day- your way!

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Inspirational poster – October 2015

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
Paul J. Meyer

As a rule, you don’t just stumble across productivity. Paul J. Meyer’s quote is a cogent observation of what it takes to increase productivity.

Print out that quote, frame it, and hang it prominently on your wall. Take it to heart—because Meyer certainly did. At a young age, he became keenly interested in personal achievement and goal-setting and made the above quote one of his formulas for success. By age 27, he was a millionaire—and that was back in 1955, when the term really meant something. By 1960, he was teaching other people his secrets, and many now consider him the founder of the Personal Development movement.

In your experience, what other elements contribute to team productivity? Attitude, planning, effort, and what else?

Use the form above to download this handy poster, share it on social media or print and keep it as a reminder.

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Banish meeting boredom | LMA

Banish meeting boredom

If you added up all the time people waste in bad meetings every day worldwide, the cost would probably equate to the annual GDP of a small country.

Long, unproductive and poorly run meetings cost both time and money.

Citrix GoToMeeting have calculated the time collectively wasted in bad meetings every year and the results are shocking.

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Benefits of improving your time management | LMA

10 Benefits of Improving your Time Management

Improving your time management offers one of the quickest, easiest and most effective strategies for improving your performance, increasing your results and achieving your goals.

You do not require additional technical skill or job knowledge, everyone is capable of learning how to utilise time more successfully. However, good time management requires commitment and effort, but it is worth it.

Not only will you be gaining one of the most valuable skills to enhance your performance but you will also enjoy a great number of benefits such as:

  • Completing the same work in fewer hours each week
  • Finishing more work in the same number of hours each week
  • Receiving recognition, rewards and additional compensation for improved results
  • Enjoying an improved work/life balance and extra time with family
  • Helping other people increase their productivity
  • Reducing frustration, pressure and stress
  • Gaining more time for planning
  • Having time to enjoy hobbies and recreation
  • Enjoying improved health and an added sense of purpose in life
  • Having more control over your personal and professional life.

Remember, most time is wasted, not in hours, but in minutes. A bucket with a small hole in the bottom gets just as empty as a bucket that is deliberately kicked over.

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Refine your time management habits

We all receive the same amount of time in each day. It is up to you on how effective you are with that time. Do you use it for profit or pleasure? Are you using your time effectively?

Time is perishable; it cannot be saved or stored up. Whether you use the time given to you wisely, or squander it foolishly, it’s gone. Effective time management does not create additional time, it just helps you utilise the time you have available to you more effectively and productively.

While the requests and demands of others play a large role in determining how your time is spent, you ultimately control your own time. Most of the tasks you perform can be grouped into four general categories: planning, communication, directing and doing.

Time for planning

At the beginning of each week you should set aside time for planning and goal setting. Mark these times on your daily calendar and make them priorities.

Time for completing your High Payoff Activities (HPA’s)

You were hired because of your knowledge and skills and how you could apply these to the achievement of your role. Therefore, identify your HPA’s and schedule your day and week to ensure you spend as much time as is required to achieve them. Your HPA’s drive the accomplishment of yours and your team’s goals.

Time for communicating

Communicate goals and plans to those whose cooperation is needed. Remember that communication is a two-way operation involving both talking and listening.

Time for directing

Direct your activities and the activities of others by choosing what to do and then use all the knowledge you can find about how best to do it. Help others identify their priorities and HPA’s, then use effective delegation and instruction to ensure you accomplish more in less time.

Analyse your time use. Are there areas in which can save time and effort by eliminating, combining, or rearranging tasks or activities? Your time is your most important possession because your time is your life. Use your time productively each day.

Inspirational posters | LMA

Inspirational poster – May 2015

“I recommend you take care of the minutes for the hours will take care of themselves…”
Lord Chesterfield

Time management can have a powerful influence on success in the workplace. Equipping your people with a wide range of time management skills can determine the productivity,  efficiency and effectiveness through which your organisation achieves success.

Leadership Management Australia (LMA) has a number of courses that develop time management skills and best practice for increased productivity. We teach you how to manage competing priorities to gain more control of your time at work and in your personal life.

LMA’s time management courses and productivity courses are suitable for anyone who wants to learn how to better manage their time and the time of their people for greater efficiency and productivity.

Regardless of whether you need to improve your own time management skills and productivity  or the time management skills and productivity of the people you lead, LMA has a course to suit your needs. To discuss which course is most appropriate to your current needs, please contact LMA.

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