Collaborative Article: Tips on how to keep yourself productive while managing a team

Mastering the art of managing a team requires a delicate blend of individual efficiency and robust leadership skills, a combination that sets the stage for both personal and collective success. It is not easy to master the balance between individual efficiency and strong leadership skills. Have you cracked the code of leading teams while maintaining personal productivity at the same time?

Being good at both – getting your own tasks done efficiently and being a strong leader is really important. It helps each person do well and also makes the whole team work better together. When you’re efficient, you finish your work quickly and correctly, which helps the team. But if you’re a good leader too, you can talk to your team, guide them, and motivate them to work together. This makes everyone feel like they’re part of a team and helps the group do great things together.

Finding the right balance between individual efficiency and strong leadership skills can be challenging due to various reasons. And not everyone naturally excels at both aspects and developing these skills takes time and effort.

That’s why we reached out to experts who know how to keep themselves productive while managing a team. They have shared their strategies and tips on how to keep yourself productive while managing a team.

Damian Culhane

Global Leadership Specialist

I am passionate about learning and currently studying for a Level 7 advanced qualification in Strategic Learning. I also enjoy yoga and swimming 2-3 times per week and work full-time.

So, how do I keep myself productive? There are three things that I place in my daily structure to help, as follows:

1) every day I set aside 20-30 minutes to have a self-meeting, a catch-up on what is outstanding and what is present, plus reflecting on what is ahead. This way I can manage my flow of work, firefight issues that need urgent attention, and prioritise how to be most effective.

2) I tend to allocate 3-5 blocks of time per day, to read and reply to emails. The distraction is limited by only pulling the emails when I am available to read them, rather than breaking my rhythm of work by responding to every ‘ping’. Studies have shown we achieve greater quality of work and achieve more when focused on fewer tasks. One study only 2.5% of people can multi-task effectively (https://health.clevelandclinic.org/science-clear-multitasking-doesnt-work/)

3) Retrospective reviews – after every pilot project, every 3-months or so, take time to reflect on:

  • What went well?
  • What needs to be stopped?
  • What can we start doing more of?

These retrospective reviews and reflections ensure efficiency and effectiveness can be optimised, potentially leading to productivity improvements.

Jon Faulkner

CEO – 6bythree Digital Ltd

Being productive is achieved through maximising the engagement with and contribution from the team, through clarity of shared purpose and direction, collaborating using design thinking-based techniques, and planning and celebrating the many small steps to change improvements, the team is fulfilled and productive delivering the work which I need them to progress and I have time to focus on removing barriers and growing confidence and capability in the team.

Larysa Hale

Managing Director, Expert Circle

Maintaining Team Productivity: A Guide

Productivity isn’t just about individual performance; it’s about harnessing the collective energy and expertise of your team. Here are some key strategies to ensure your team remains on track and excels:

Set Clear and Achievable Goals: While a long-term vision is crucial to guide your team’s direction, short-term, achievable goals are the stepping stones to get there. These targets act as markers, ensuring your team knows exactly where they need to be and by when. Regularly updating and reviewing these goals can keep everyone aligned and motivated.

Opt for Efficient Team Meetings: Team meetings are necessary to get a snapshot of what everyone is working on. However, the key is to keep them concise and relevant. A well-structured meeting agenda can help streamline discussions, ensuring you cover all vital points without letting the meeting drag.

One-on-One Sessions: It’s beneficial to have individual time with each team member. These sessions can be tailored to each individual’s needs, whether it’s guidance, feedback, or simply understanding their perspectives. They can also help in ensuring that they are focusing on the right tasks and priorities.

Transparency is Essential: Open communication about your own workload can create a more transparent environment. When team members understand what you’re working on, it sets a precedent for them to share their workloads too. This mutual understanding can foster a sense of respect for each other’s time and responsibilities.

By adopting these strategies, leaders can create a culture of productivity and collaboration, ensuring both individual and team success.

About the author: expertcircle.co.uk
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