Time management has changed
For many of us our working environment has shifted over the last two years. Many of us are now following a hybrid way of working, part office based, part home based. The change in that working environment has had a profound effect on the way that we work. For example, the way we approach our working day has changed. The commute may have disappeared for many of us. Immediately that changes our working day and the time constraints set upon us. We may start earlier or work later. It gives us a sense of flexibility which often leads to a greater productivity. Faced with such a change to our work landscape can have negative as well as positive effects on individuals. Not all of us cope well with change. At times people felt that working from home blurred the boundaries of work and family life. The pandemic continues to affect families when they have to isolate which can cause issues to a working day. However, productivity is no longer based on presenteeism. Managers are not physically able to oversee the amount of time you are sat at your desk.
Productivity is measured differently
With less face to face meetings, we are able to focus more on the job in hand without having to constantly break off to move to a different part of the building for a meeting. This enables us to get tasks done quicker and more efficiently. We are no longer hanging around the coffee machines after meetings and walking back to a mountain of emails. We can deal with emails as they pop into our inbox. We have more control over when we do tasks and how we do tasks. There is no manager stopping by our desk to answer questions. We decide if we answer that call from the boss now or if we wait until we are free of a job and give them a call back.
During a transitionary phase find a routine
Pay attention to developing a strong mindset. A mindset is just a consistent way of thinking. It should include ways of growing your productivity. Work out what tools you will need to help with that. Keep working on strengthening that mindset with positive intent, build in resilience but also ensure you are flexible and can shift your mindset if you need to. If you have worked on a strong core mindset then it can move fluidly. Believe that your talent can be developed. Your productivity will be positively impacted if you work out the best way to approach your day to day working practices. Question what things are working and why things are not. Work out what you need to do to make things better or fix things that aren’t working. Building a working routine will also help. For example, the commute used to be a routine you weren’t in control of. Now you are, that his your time to do as you wish. How can you make that time work for you?
Adjusting your identity will help you build a routine
Look at your day and find out what is working for you. Identify the problems which stop you moving forward or waste time. Work out when you as an individual are most productive? Is it late at night or early in the morning. You are now far more in control of your daily routine. Your routine no longer has to control you. There is still the idea that we do need to be present virtually but work out if you are overdoing the online visibility. Do you need to speak to your manager today? Would that 10 or 20 minutes be better spent working on a project or streamlining a speech. We now have more tools available o help us manage our time. Emails are now the most used way of communicating in the working environment, they have obviously replaced the stopping at your desk but can often be as intrusive. However, large amounts of emails day to day can quickly hurt your productivity by interrupting your flow. Find a tool that can help you manage situations which can halt your productivity.
Don’t micro manage individuals or your time
Make sure you build in a way of prioritising into your mindset. For example if you are CC’d into an email it doesn’t mean you need to respond. As a leader you don’t need to constantly check in with your employees. Find a way of being across the business and staff without needing to speak or communicate with them every minute of the day. Our smartphones are always within reach. For many they become an addiction, we check our emails all the time. If this is you, choose times when you put your phone in another room and close the door. Plan your day. Set up a productivity planner. You could try Brendon Burchard’s one page productivity planner. It helps you to prioritise what projects you have and what you need to do with them each day.
Don’t let routine mindsets sabotage you
Understand that you are in control of your time. If you struggle to start finding your growth mindset you can access help, either online or from a coach. Don’t procrastinate, reach out to people. Start with a planner and see if that helps. Find your why. Work out what the focus of your day will be each day. Break down the day. What 5 things will you deal with today.
Work smarter, not harder. Work in small bursts to keep your energy for longer. Be clear what you’re doing and work on the things that matter. Remind yourself what your priorities are.
If you would like to learn more about managing your time and productivity, get in touch. You can also check out my Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Podcast where guests give tips on how to grow your business and your mindset.
Remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.