A productivity tool for your business: self-management
Self-management is one of the best productivity tools your company can rely on. Knowing how to manage the workload and channel the possible stress generated among the staff, and eventually in the company, is the responsibility and obligation of the leaders of any organization.
The higher a person is in the organization chart of a company, the more aware they should be of their leadership skills and knowledge of self-management. The improvement of our efficiency will be an unambiguous way of measuring our abilities. Do not panic: the ability to appropriately manage time and tools can be acquired through specific training.
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What must self-management tools have in common? We have gathered a list of recommendations to help you be more productive in your company.
1. Start by analyzing
When it comes to managing productivity in your organization, you must first stop and think about the stage you are at. As David Allen suggests in his GTD matrix, the first thing is the analysis. We should start from a comprehensive review that will let us spot the unproductive practices that we carry out in our daily lives. In the case of GTD, this analysis is based on two main areas: perspective and control. The “ideal” state would be having high levels of control and perspective; on the contrary, the most alarming state would be low control and perspective, which will require an urgent change of course.
2. Trust new methodologies
The big focus and our utmost attention should be placed on the inefficiencies of the organization, in order to correct them and implement effective techniques with a lasting impact. Self-management in a company must be open to new methodologies. Technological advances in recent years have made a reality of the possibility to significantly improve productivity both in our private lives and the workplace.
3. Establish limits
Preventing mismanagement from leading to harmful habits for our productivity is not only in the hands of our organization, but also in our own. The company, however, must lead the way and define structures which will support new and efficient routines. The secret to being productive and implementing efficient self-management depends largely on our ability to deal with the interruptions and barriers that block our productivity every day. Set limits to people and technologies; learn how to say “no”.
4. Define barriers
We sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks we have to do and everything seems to be an uphill struggle. Trying to define and explain the complications of each task will help us see our goal more clearly and will push us towards making a faster and better informed decision.
5. Think about the next step
One of the most common reasons for not starting a task we have planned is having doubts about what the next step we must take is. Knowing exactly what it is that we need to do will help us get down to work. Sending an email, making a phone call, asking somebody for help, writing a report, etc. We must make it a habit to specify the most immediate action required by our task.
6. Take it easy
Once in a while, it is necessary to reduce the pressure, take it slow and convey calm and peace to the team. It is not about lowering the sense of commitment, but about escaping that feeling of burden that blocks us at certain times. Good leadership can easily see when a team member needs to take a “strategic” break in order to gain momentum.
7. Split the tasks
Most self-management tools are based on “splitting” tasks in much smaller ones to enable and facilitate their implementation. Just as important as “setting the next step”, as mentioned above, is to break down projects into reasonable tasks, doable by a team of several people.
8. Avoid multitasking
Companies that care about prioritizing tasks get to dramatically reduce the costs associated with loss of productivity. The greatest danger of multitasking is that we may get used to living with it, and it is easy to make it a habit (many open tabs in your browser, replying to an email while talking on the phone, checking a report while we are attending a meeting, who has never done that?). The company must promote actions that will favor “single-tasking” in order to improve processes.
9. Use tools to favor self-management
Good news is that there are a lot of productivity tools out there to simplify the arduous task of managing our daily tasks. Beyond the online tools to optimize time, like Evernote and its alternatives (One Note, Springpad, Simplenote, Google Keep), anyone can reflect on what the best systems for their business productivity are.
In short, there are many self-management tools and strategies to help everybody improve productivity in the company. Improving efficiency is a goal within the reach of any organization and it is the duty of their leaders to facilitate the implementation of methods to promote efficiency and performance.