It’s not always possible to spend more money. And it’s not always possible to hire more people. But your boss, and your company, still expect sales to grow – month after month and year after year.
How is it possible?
As a leader, you have to do more with less. You have to become more efficient. And you have to coach your team to do the same.
Here is a blueprint that you can use to encourage your team to be more productive this year:
What do you do that adds value to the business? Where is the cross-over between your personal strength’s and the team’s goals? Everyone should focus their energies on those tasks that add the most value, knowing there is not enough time in the day to do everything. Approach each and every day with one goal: make an impact.
The flip side of focusing only on those items that add value is the need to cut out tasks that don’t add value. These are the kind of box ticking items that fill your day but don’t move the needle.
Can they be automated? Delegated? What would happen if this simply was not done anymore?
It’s also possible to cut time spent on other things that don’t add value. Reduce meetings from an hour to thirty minutes. Turn off notifications. Only check your email at certain times of day.
Technology has advanced to the point where if you have regular, process-oriented tasks that don’t vary much from day to day, there is a high likelihood that task can be automated. Automating tasks frees you up to focus on more important projects.
Weigh the amount of time it takes to automate something against the amount of hours you spend on it over the course of a month or year. Chances are, it would be beneficial to automate.
Most people are not paid to do busy work. Lower level tasks that can’t be automated yet are candidates for delegation. These may be delegated to other departments within your organization, more junior members of your team, interns, or outsourced completely.
Paying an hourly fee for someone else to do lower-level tasks also frees up your time to focus on more important items.
Teams spend far too long analyzing and forecasting before making a decision. That time is better spent preparing and executing. To move more efficiently, we must be willing to test new things. Try them out, measure the results, and decide what to do next.
Don’t waste time debating potential outcomes when it is just as easy to try something out and see what happens. And be willing to fail. Don’t over-invest in things that don’t work.
Do whatever it takes to get started. The biggest productivity killer of them all is delay. We delay for all kinds of reasons.
Block out time on your calendar for intensive projects that require your attention. Tackle the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning so you don’t push them to the bottom of your to-do list. Say no to meeting requests if you don’t have the time. Seek out help immediately if you are not sure how to proceed.