My world is chaotic and unproductive. I typically don’t accomplish everything I set out to do in a day. I find myself running from one thing to another. I don’t have enough time for my family. What suggestions do you have to improve my productivity?
Dear Productivity Poor Pete:
My suggestion is to identify and crush timewasters in your world. Consider these solutions to five common timewasters.
We leave ourselves open to productivity thieves by letting them interrupt us. “You have a problem? Bring it to me,” we declare. We can let emails especially interfere with our train of thought and consume our mental energy. Let’s say we’re working on project “A” (ours) and someone immediately wants an answer for project “X” (not ours). In the spirit of teamwork, we drop everything to help.
Solution: Set availability boundaries and communicate them to others, then stick with them.
Whether it is a one-on-one meeting, a jobsite meeting, or an all-company meeting, many are often unproductive. To ensure meetings advance the work, insist each one has a purpose (why you are having the meeting), an objective (what you want to achieve), and a timeline (by when you want to accomplish the purpose and objective). If any one of these three ingredients is missing, you could be headed for a personal productivity challenge.
Solution: Include all three–purpose, objective, timeline–in your meetings.
This invisible enemy can rob you of your time, your professional development, your business growth, and your leadership credibility. In these common examples of counterproductivity, you:
- Take the time to plan your day, but you don’t follow the plan.
- Conduct an employee engagement survey and do nothing with the results.
- Hire people to do a job but don’t take time to train them on how to do that job.
Take a few minutes to review your calendar over the past month or two to identify and eliminate any counterproductive activities. Be brutally honest with yourself.
Solution: Identify which behaviors were counterproductive, then don’t repeat them going forward.
In construction, we get busy and get things done, but rarely do we slow down to ask, “Is this what I should be working on?” We may like doing task “A” better than task “B,” so we don’t work on “B” until the last minute. Next thing we know, we’re out of time and wishing we had more! Then we face that “silent stress,” which zaps our energy and eats at us for not working on task “B.”
Solution: Establish the right priorities and be disciplined to stick with them until they’re complete. Then move onto the next.
LACK OF DELEGATION
To become more personally productive, adopt this motto: “As a leader, the less I do, the more I get done.” It will serve as an important reminder how empowering people and delegating work is crucial to your personal productivity success.
As the leader of your construction business, you need to focus on running your business instead of letting the challenges in your business run you. I hope these solutions will help you become more productive. Please let me know if you need assistance tackling timewasters in your world.
About the author:
As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Register to receive his Leadership Tip of the Week at www.LeadersEdge360.com, or contact him directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, January 2021
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