Are you an executive with too much on your plate? You are not alone. Fortunately there is something that you can do about it. During 3 years of research, productivity expert Jordan Cohen showed that while executives waste on average a whopping 41% of their day on low priority tasks, this can be dramatically shifted for the better by using these 5 tricks to can streamline your efforts and free up more time.
1. Identify low value tasks
Are all of those meetings really getting results? Is your presence required? How much time are you spending trying to make your PowerPoint presentation look “just so”? Look at everything you are doing and ask whether it is really adding value to the company, your team, or the results you are working to achieve.
2. Decide whether to drop, delegate, outsource, or redesign
Some activities might need to be dropped altogether, but it is more likely that you simply need to ask whether this is something that you should be doing or whether it could be done as good or better by someone else in order to free up your time for those things that only you can and should be doing. I encourage executives to look at their hourly rate, based on their salary, and then ask whether they are really making best use of the company’s resources by spending their time doing work that could be done by someone at a much lower pay rate.
3. Off-load tasks
Every leader wants to delegate, but the reality of off-loading tasks is often difficult. A big part of the reason is that the delegated tasks will seldom be done in exactly the way you would do them. Effective delegation requires letting go of your attachment to the process for achieving the results. It also requires tolerance for the fact that mistakes will be made as the person you have delegated or outsourced to gets the hang of their new responsibility.
4. Allocate freed-up time
Empty time will quickly be filled by the demands and priorities of others if you don’t purposefully fill it with your own priorities. What activities could you invest your time in that would dramatically improve the performance of your team? What issues could you resolve that would positively impact sales, performance, quality or profits?
5. Commit to your plan
Jordan’s research showed that by doing the above, executives can free an average of 6 hours of desk time and 2 hours of meeting time per week, so start thinking about what you will do with that extra day in your work week and get busy on step 1 today!
Looking for more on managing your team for success? Read more on Kyosei Consulting. If you’re interested in how you can increase your productivity and better your life, check out Kyosei Coaching.