Getting more done, while at the same time using fewer resources, can be one of business life's greatest challenges. I hear all the time from frustrated leaders and managers who tell me that things are getting worse. But before you quit trying, check out these suggestions.
Note: These tips are based on an entry in our IT Leadership blog.
1: Go to other people's offices for meetings
It's a lot easier to leave someone else's office than it is to get people out of yours, and you don't have to waste time afterward. This approach also increases your visibility with others while you're on the move — and you may learn something in passing.
2: As often as possible, meet with users, clients, or customers
I realize this is a big time demand, but what you hear firsthand from those being served by your organization can be startling and exciting. If you're worried about hurting a subordinate's feelings, take that person with you, but make it clear that you're going to ask and talk a lot.
According to the latest studies from Pew Research, having a midday nap of just 20 minutes in duration can improve mood, alertness, and performance. Next time you find yourself reaching for a coffee or a Red Bull to boost your energy, try this first. As a Wellness Advisor for Tempur-Pedic, I know that most people underestimate the benefits of sleep. This can be a game changer.
4: Use praise to reinforce crispness
In your meetings, make it abundantly clear that you appreciate those who are aware of how valuable your time is. You want attendees to be crisp, concise, and alert so the meeting will be effective as well as efficient. Conversely, if someone is a time hog, say so. I don't mean you have to be ugly about this, but great leaders ensure that those around them are aware of their needs and objectives.
5: Use that smart phone in a smarter way
If you aren't regularly using the recording feature on your phone, start now. We all experience moments of brilliance, and when they occur, we need to make the most of them. Never miss an opportunity to make verbal notes for use later. Trying to recall them afterward is frustrating and can cost you a lost idea. Another approach is to call the office and leave yourself a voicemail.
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John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion dollar organizations and launching start-ups in both the U.S. and Canada. The author of two published books, he is frequently seen providing advice on TV, in magazines, and newspapers.