Over the last decade, it seems like duties for any business leader have skyrocketed. Between responding to emails, managing direct reports, and taking care of the day-to-day functions of a business, there's just more to do in a day than anyone has time for. Faced with this challenge, it's critical for leaders and employees alike to stay productive, and there are a number of tips and tricks to help you improve productivity and take care of the important things. In my role as Chairman of Heartland Dental, there are a few things I always rely on to maintain productivity:
Without a doubt, this is the single most important element of productivity for business leaders and managers to understand. As someone who cares deeply about the success of their company, I fully understand the urge to try to take care of everything under the sun by oneself – but the reality is it just isn't possible. The desire to attack every task head on is admirable, but a much more effective approach is to delegate. Learning to delegate tasks to those who can – and should – be taking care of them is one of the most important skills for a manager to learn, and it does wonders for the productivity of both you and your team.
Be Mindful of Meetings
Meetings are dangerous. Why? Because the feel productive even when they might be counterproductive. Before agreeing to attend a meeting, ask yourself if your presence is really needed there. Will you be adding something critical to the conversation? Or would the meeting proceed just fine without you? Do you need to be there to see every moment? Or could someone just as easily give you a recap without you missing a beat? If you don't need to be there, skip the meeting and tackle something that truly requires your attention.
Take a Break
If you've got a busy day ahead, it's natural to want to get to work and work for as long as possible – but be careful of that impulse. It may seem necessary to work for hours on end without a break, but your productivity will slip quickly. Instead, try another schedule: work for 52 minutes, then break for 17. This rotation gives you stretches of work long enough to immerse yourself and get things done, but also allows you time to breathe so you can stay focused.
Why Working Smarter Matters
At the end of the day, the success - and that of your organization - will not be measured by the hours you put in, but by what you accomplished during those hours. Using productivity tips and techniques can help you accomplish more while saving your energy, letting you be a more effective team member, leader, and role model.
So how do you keep your productivity up? What are your biggest techniques? And, in the future, what can you do to improve your productivity? Subscribe to Dentistry Leaders, a business leadership blog, to stay up to date on the latest in business leadership and the dental field.