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6 Productivity Tips to Help You with Team Management

6 Productivity Tips to Help You with Team Management

Achieving high team productivity is a dream come true for all team managers out there. Successfully running a productive team is a very challenging task, as working with people can be seriously engaging. However, succeeding in running a team will make everyone happy, the leader, the team members and the company as whole. Remember, the best companies in the world are successful because they are comprised of incredible teams. So, if you are a team leader, these are some of the tips that will help make you and your team more productive.

Work on communication

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    Communication is the most important thing that a team can have. If you don’t establish good communication, many problems may come. There are two different ways to improve communication amongst team members. One is more focused on a personal level, whereas the other is concerned with a professional level.

    Bringing people closer on a personal level is something that can be achieved through team building events such as a dinner, weekend trips or similar types of activities. This will let people know more about each other, which will open more channels of communication. After all, it is much easier to communicate with a person you are familiar with than a stranger who is sitting next to you. On the other hand, it is very important to establish professional communication limits.

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    You do not want to create an atmosphere where people are going to talk about their private lives during work hours, as this is simply a distraction for the whole team. Therefore, it is very important to establish some rules about the things that need to be communicated, the things that your team members should be notified of and many other business-related things. The more both of these communication channels evolve, the better the productivity is going to be.

    Make sure to make breaks

    You are not going to be a better team leader if you simply force your team members to pull more hours of continual work. The fact is that we are all humans and that breaks are necessary if you want to stay focused on work during the period of 8 hours. No matter how good your team is, it is impossible to keep a high level of focus during an 8-hour period. A good idea is to encourage this type of behavior by taking breaks yourself as a team leader.

    This will signal to people that they can rest as well. A period of 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to relax your brain and let it rest. Making 3 or 4 of these breaks during working hours is the perfect amount of break time to provide to your whole team. This will ensure that they are less bored, less tired and will make them more productive. There is a precise science behind taking breaks, so make sure that you use it to help reduce stress and increase productivity – your team will love it.

    Shape the team members’ mindset

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      Turning your team into a well-oiled machine takes a lot of time and commitment. There is a psychological factor that has to be addressed. It is very important that every team member is aware that they are a part of something bigger, a part of a team, which itself is an integral part of the company. This will engage every team member to give more to the whole team and to the project. Stressing the big picture is very important, as it will get into people’s heads over time.

      What is more important than increased productivity is the fact that when someone is more involved in a task at work, there are much higher chances that a new idea that can take the whole company in a new direction can emerge. You never know how talented and ready to work someone is. So if you want your team to become more innovative, shaping your whole team’s mindset is a key starting point.

      Set realistic goals

      Setting realistic goals is very important because the sense of achievement is one of the things that is going to motivate people further. For example, you should avoid involving your team in projects that take more than 3 months to achieve, or if you have to face them with this sort of obligation, it is necessary to split up the project into smaller and shorter achievements. This will give people a sense of improvement after each completed step, even though the project is much bigger.

      On the other hand, task that take up to a month to complete will provide your team with a great sense of achievement. Small and well-timed wins will take your team much further, so be careful when determining how you are going to schedule tasks.

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      Give credits to team members

      Upon completing any type of task, no matter if the task was successful or not so successful, it is very important to show appreciation for all the people who were involved in the project. This will make each team member feel important and appreciated. If a task is completed without any given credits, the people will feel less motivated to engage more with the upcoming tasks, as they are not going to feel that the energy they invest is being appreciated enough.

      So, no matter how a certain task is performed, it is important to give some sort of pep talk that is going to motivate the people around you. Over a longer period of time, appreciating team members will not only increase productivity, but will also establish a sense of belonging to a family, increased loyalty and trust.

      Make a truly professional environment

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        All of the above things are important to establish, but the foundation on which all of these things should be built is a great working environment. Create a soundproof and isolated environment that is going to enable your teammates to be productive. Additionally, even though it may sound harsh for some people, access to a variety of time-wasting websites and social media networks should be forbidden.

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        These are some of the ways in which people lose precious time, as social media networks take away their focus for extended periods of time. On the other hand, while protecting people from the grasp of the internet it is important to make sure that there are no trespassers in the office. Any type of interruption is very distracting for the whole team, which can significantly reduce the productivity of the whole team.

        These are some tips that will encourage specific behavior and increase the productivity of the people around you. However, it is also important to apply some practical steps, so that people are more time-efficient. If you combine all of these tips, your team is going to feel like one big family, which will help them get the job done efficiently and enthusiastically.

        Featured photo credit: http://startupstockphotos.com/post/94180886521/waterstreet-coffee-bar-on-location-for-a via pexels.com

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        Last Updated on April 8, 2020

        How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

        How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

        Overwhelmed with work, family responsibilities, financial challenges and health issues are common culprits which catalyze stress and anxiety symptoms that show up differently in each and every one of us.

        Whilst many of us are becoming much better at identifying what can trigger us to feel these, we’re not always that great at recognizing our individual thresholds; we don’t know exactly how to calm down when the mental, emotional storms erupt.

        We can almost see you eye-rolling upon hearing commonly recommended stress antidotes such as taking a bath, lighting candles or going for a walk. Let’s face it. These simply aren’t practical things you can do when you’re on a red-eye flight at 5:30am to run a full day of training interstate and then fly back the same evening not to mention juggling a young family.

        You want to know your triggers, predict the impact of them and have your own suite of tools up your sleeve to calm down that impact for the long-term.

        Doing a little ground work to gain a strong self-awareness of your likely reactions puts you smack bang in the pilot seat to develop a robust mental and emotional toolkit that will work wonders for you.

        A few simple but well-practiced techniques may be all you need to simmer down the cyclonic intensity of emotions, and disparaging thoughts pecking away at your self-esteem and confidence. However, it’s important you do this self-reflective groundwork first to gain maximum impact for long-term effect.

        1. Strengthen Familiarity with What Triggers You

        When you have arguments with your loved one, do you stop and look to see if there are certain things you fight about? Are there certain behaviors they display that drive you bananas?

        Take your focus off them and ask yourself: “What is my usual response?”

        Perhaps you feel the anger welling up inside your chest and you then spurt out that you’ve told him or her ten times before to not leave their underwear lying across the bedroom floor.

        Think a little deeper. Ask yourself what values, standards and expectations you have that are not being met here. You’ll likely be attached to certain ways you believe things should play out. Are there assumptions and expectations as to how you believe people should conduct themselves and principles about how you feel you should be treated?

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        Having a strong attachment to these for yourself is one thing. Expecting others to have the same attachment is often what can make the hot water start simmering.

        It is often when people behave in ways inconsistent with our belief systems and events unfold in discord with what we expect and are prepared for that we feel the most stress and anxiety.

        Make a list of the common circumstances in different areas of your life that cause you to become anxious and stressed. Against each of these, describe your stress response:

        What happens? What do you feel?

        Now think about the values, principles and expectations you have attached to these. You’ll see you have a few options:

        • Change my values and expectations
        • Try to change other’s values and expectations
        • Recognize and be in allowance of others having different values, standards and expectations

        Reviewing how you react when you’re stressed and anxious, and identifying which of these three options above is going to best serve you, can greatly increase your ability to feel and be in control of calming your reaction.

        You move closer to being able to choose how you want to respond as opposed to feeling helpless and the world is spiralling out of control.

        2. Have Coping Statements on Hand

        When you have a washing machine of chaotic thoughts churning in your mind, trying to implant thoughts that are the complete opposite of what you’re thinking and feeling can be pretty hard.

        Not being able to do it can also add another layer of us feeling disappointment in ourselves. We feel we’re failing.

        Having coping statements that you can literally latch on to to help you calm down in those stressful and anxious moments, can be particularly helpful.

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        Look at creating palm cards and just have three to five of these you can have in your pocket or in your purse. Here are 6 examples:

        • Even though I am feeling this right now, I am going to be alright
        • What I am feeling right now is uncomfortable. I won’t feel this way forever. Soon the intensity of what I am feeling will pass.
        • I’ve survived these feelings before. I can do it again.
        • I feel this way because of my past experiences but right now, I am actually safe.
        • It’s ok for me to feel this way. My body and brain are trying to protect me but I am actually safe right now.
        • Ah, here you are again, anxiety. Thanks for showing up to protect me, but I don’t need you right now.

        Choose words and dialogue that feel true and accurate for you. Read the statements out to yourself and test how fitting they are for you. What feels more assuring, calming and right for you?

        Make these statements your own. The aim is of these statements is to de-escalate the intensity of what you feel when you’re anxious and stressed.

        Remember, you want to refrain from having blunt statements which feel or sound like they’re self-reprimanding because they won’t be pacifying in a positive way.

        If you are unsure as to how to come up with statements that fit for you, look to work with a psychologist or licensed therapist to give you a strong start.

        3. Identify and Develop Physical Anchors

        You actually have within you resources to provide some of the most effective ways to calm yourself down in heightened moments you feel stressed and anxious. Renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Peter Levine and expert in treating stress and trauma, teaches us how techniques which do this, such as Somatic Experiencing®[1] can significantly help us calm down.

        By learning to be fully present and applying touch to certain areas of your body (e.g. forehead and heart space), you increase your capacity to self-regulate. You also learn how to attend to and release your unique symptoms that your body has been containing in a way you have not been able to before.

        Here’s one technique example:

        1. Get in a comfortable position
        2. Have your eyes open or closed, whatever feels most comfortable for you
        3. Now place one hand on your forehead, palm side flat against the skin
        4. Place the other hand, palm down across your heart space above your sternum… the flat of your chest area.
        5. Gently turn your attention to what you feel physically in the area between your two hands. Observe and just take notice of what you physically feel. Is your chest pounding? How strong are its beat and the rhythm? Do you notice any other sensations anywhere else between your two hands?
        6. Don’t try to push or resist what you’re feeling. Try to just sit with it and remain this way with your hands in place until you feel a shift, a physical one. It might take a little longer, so try to be patient.

        You might feel a change in energy flow, a change in temperature or different, less intense sensations. Just keep your hands in place until you feel some kind of shift, even if gradual.

        It might take you even 5 to 10 minutes but, riding this wave will help you to process what discomfort your body is containing. It will greatly help to release it so you gradually become calmer.

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        Purely cognitive exercises can be tough at the outset. Learning somatic experience techniques is particularly helpful because you’re engaging in exercises where you physically can feel the difference. Feeling the changes helps you increase confidence you can control and reduce the discomfort you’re feeling. You’ll be motivated to keep practicing and improving this skill you can take anywhere, anytime.

        4. Move and Get Physical

        If you’re not one to exercise, you’re robbing yourself of some very easy ways which help you calm down and reduce stress and anxiety responses. Many neuro chemical changes take place when you engage in exercise.

        At certain levels of physical exertion, your brain’s pituitary gland releases neurotransmitter endorphins. When they bind with certain opiate receptors in your brain, signals are transmuted throughout your nervous system to reduce feelings of pain and trigger feelings of euphoria. You might have heard the term ‘runner’s high’.

        For the last 20 years, University of Missouri-Columbia’s Professor Richard Cox has conducted research showing that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective at reducing anxiety and stress levels than other forms of aerobic exercise.[2] However, if you would rather slay dragons than turn up an F45 class, it’s essential you still find something that will physically shift you and alter your current mental and emotional state of mind, even just a fraction to start with. It’s 100% ok if this is not your cup of tea.

        So in a day full of back of back-to-back meetings, what can you do?

        If you’re sitting, stand. Change your posture and open your body up. Have a suite of discrete stretches you can do regularly as you deepen and engage in diaphragmatic breathing.

        If you’re looking down at your desk at work and feeling increasingly stressed, look up and change what you’re looking at. Give yourself more than a few moments to decompress.

        The main thing is to change your disposition from the one you’re in when you are experiencing anxiety and stress symptoms. You’re shaking it up to calm it down.

        5. Transform Your Unhelpful Inner Dialogue and Its Energy

        Learning cognitive restructuring techniques can truly work wonders in helping you recognize and re-frame unhelpful dialogue and negative critical thinking patterns. This involves a little preparation being transparent with yourself about what exaggerated perspectives you might ascribe to what’s happening when you’re feeling stressed and anxious.

        When you open your email inbox and see a flood of requests which require more time and energy you have for that day, dread starts to settle in and the following comes to mind: “This is impossible. How can they expect me to be able to do all this? It’s completely unreasonable!”

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        Instantly, many other thoughts that reinforce this line of thinking as well as the emotional energy of your first conscious thought start unravelling. A 4-step process you can engage to calm the eruption is:

        1. Catch and notice that first thought you had. What was it? What did you think and/or say to yourself?
        2. Recognize that what you’re feeling and be in allowance of the initial intensity of whatever those emotions are.
        3. Breath deliberately a little more deeply and slowly for a few seconds.
        4. State to yourself: “Right now (in this moment) I’m feeling overwhelmed by this, however maybe I can look at what I can make good progress and headway with as a start from here on.”

        Notice the language in step 4 is tentative, supportive, soft and not resistant nor defiant of what your original thought was. You accept your original thought, but gradually you become stronger at pivoting it.[3] You’re expanding your growth mindset language.

        It’s definitely worth working with a coach or trained therapist to learn how to tailor re-framing statements which can truly help you calm down.

        Final Thoughts

        We know, in our minds what we should do. When we’re in the thick of experiencing mental and emotional turmoil, it’s actually harder to implement what we know. In those moments, you’re unlikely to have capacity to think about what you need to do, let alone do it effectively to help you feel calmer.

        The key is to practice so that when the storm is brewing, your toolkit and supplies are in easy access. You already know your safety drill well.

        Knowing you have strategies and prepared processes up your sleeves helps you not only become better at calming yourself in amongst currently stressful situations. You have more confidence now to face more anxiety-provoking stressors because you have developed the resources to handle it.

        How you invest time and energy into getting to know your triggers and thresholds will influence how effective these strategies will work for you. We’re not denying relaxing baths or regular massages are helpful, however these band-aid-like solutions don’t really confront the root causes.

        If you truly want to turn your experience of your stress and anxiety symptoms around, dig deeper, do the groundwork and that which rattled your cage will quickly become a thing of the past.

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        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

        Reference

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