How do highly productive leaders manage their time?
Productivity is easily confused. When someone has a ‘productive day’ it usually means they got a lot done but it’s really important to identify what matters most, instead of completing a series of tasks that really could have been delegated.
Productive leaders dump their to-do list
To-do lists are great. However, they clutter your day with tasks that you believe to be important, therefore, you prioritise the wrong activities. Everyone has 24 hours in the day, it’s up to you to choose where to spend those hours. Business owners tend to choose more pressing activities as it makes them feel ‘worked’. Look at how you spend your time more efficiently. This is a sense of false achievement that can lead to the clouding of judgement.
20-80 is an amazing principle. This suggests that you spend 20% of your efforts on 80% of the results. You see it at home when most people wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time. Use this when creating a to-do list: split the page into 2. The left side should be the 20% of tasks you feel are most important or effective for your business. Then the left side can be 80% of the tasks that are less important or can be done after the others. If you are an employee, your manager may state a few tasks that must be completed as well as some others, so identifying which ones are which can make it a lot clearer.
Productive leaders slow down under pressure
The key is to plan. A great leader will adjust her time to take on more (important) tasks that allow her team to widen their work load. This should be done preferably before or after work hours – moving the diary around or allotting time for tasks that may pop up. This then saves the panic in the middle of the day when something important pops up and needs to be dealt with.
Secondly, you should carve out times in the day to take breaks. Many business owners disagree with this but taking a step back and re-aligning yourself to the tasks in hand can be very effective. Blocking out a 30-minute gap in the day to process issues thoroughly and deeply with the whole team allows everyone to understand what needs to be done individually to complete it. Try it out!
Productive leaders use simple maths for their hardest problems
Perhaps what sets the most productive leaders apart is how they respond to adversity. Most people buy into the myth that the events of your day lead to your outcomes. They adopt an E = O mentality, thinking if events go their way, their outcomes will be good, but if events turn sour, their outcomes turn sour as well. Adding a response or an extra letter V = “Victim” allows people to control one of the aspects, changing the most challenging events into positive outcomes.
Changing Habits and Where to Start
Do you want to move from average productivity to outstanding productivity as a leader? Then consider changing your habits. If productivity is primarily about getting what matters most done, then practise habits that focus on getting the most important things done, slowing down, and owning your response to the events the world throws your way.
To discuss any of the above, please just get in touch.