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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 July 13, 2020

        How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

        How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

        Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

        If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

        1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

        The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

        Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

        For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

        The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

        2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

        Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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        As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

        Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

        3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

        Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

          This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

          We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

          Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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          When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

          Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

          4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

          Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

          For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

          Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

          5. Make Decisions

          For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

          If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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          If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

          Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

          I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

          This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

          The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

          6. Take Some Form of Action

          Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

          The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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          It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

          Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

          The Bottom Line

          Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

          When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

          More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

          Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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