Let's Talk Leadership, Productivity

Doing it all, Doing Nothing

By , October 13, 2015

60% of time at work is spent unproductively. Here's how to make sure you don't fall into that statistic.

Summertime is long over. The holidays have come to a close. It’s high time to dig in and settle down into our regular routines as the long winter stretch looms ahead.

While many view wintertime as a season of snow plows and shoveling, smart businesspeople know that the endless winter doldrums can pose more than just a walk-and-slip hazard. It can cause serious issues that can affect the success and future of your business.

You see, as the routine becomes more familiar and monotonous, it’s easy for one’s productivity level to decline. Fact is, today’s business world is obsessed with the idea of productivity—and for good reason.

Being productive keeps us motivated and allows us to live more accomplishing lives, both personally and professionally.

Sounds simple, right? Yet for some reason, this goal eludes the vast majority. In fact, studies have shown that 60% of the time spent at work is unproductive! Wonder why? Just ask Sam Treble.

After just a few short years working at Silicon Valley tech giant Electronic Fruit, 25 year-old Sam Treble was promoted to Strategic Accounts Manager. Sam set out to prove that despite his young age, he deserved this position. He was going to succeed with flying colors.

Fast forward to 3 frustrating weeks later: Sam realized that although he knew he was capable of handling the increased workload, the number of unfinished projects and increasingly impatient client emails seemed to indicate otherwise. In danger of being demoted or worse, Sam knew a change in approach was necessary.

He locked his office door, pulled out his trusty whiteboard, and wrote down all the projects he was dealing with, ordering them based on importance.

Looking at the task list, he realized that a large chunk of it really didn’t need his direct attention. He was being dragged into long meetings that he didn’t need to be in. He was answering so many calls that he didn’t have to answer. He was being dragged into multi-team email conversations that didn’t require his response.

In other words? Sam’s daily work routine was killing his productivity.

Armed with this realization, Sam called an emergency meeting, and set out distributing and delegating those tasks to the various members of his team based upon their skill set. He created a new routine for the team that minimized wasteful tasks and maximized productivity levels.

The positive results were not long in coming. Not only did it take a load off Sam’s shoulders, but his team members were more motivated. Projects weren’t just completed on time – but ahead of deadlines. The angry client emails turned into enthusiastic recommendations.

Sam was now a new person. He started looking more like a manager who was a leader, rather than a manager who performed all the tasks.

Truth is, each and every one of us can relate to the Sam’s predicament… and can also apply his solution. Check out these Ptex Practical Pointers to help you increase productivity, stay motivated and ultimately maximize your day.

Banish The Excess: Write down 2 to 3 things you have on your calendar, task list and agenda that do not relate specifically to what you do. To help you decide which things are not in your domain, list what you believe your primary skills are, and then jot down the various tasks that don’t suit your skill set.

Delete Or Delegate: Figure out who would be better at handling these tasks. When delegating, it’s important to delegate to others based on their strengths—not just giving over things you don’t want to deal with directly. Empower those to whom you delegate to not only do the work, but make the judgment calls. They have to be trusted and released to fully do the job.

Create A Plan: After delegating those critical tasks, create a long-term outsourcing and assignment system that will prevent those tasks from ever distracting you. And make sure the entire team sticks to the plan.

Granted, it’s a difficult task to trust others. That’s why we dispense our trust so selectively. But in order to get the most out of our lives and careers, we must focus on what we do best… and trust others to do the rest.

Onward and upward,

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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