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, take this poll and then check out my top nine tips.
1. Go to other people's offices for meetings. It's a lot easier to leave their office than it is to get them 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. Encourage a "masculine" vs. "feminine" communication style. Scientists like Loann Brezendine have proven what others have long observed: men think to talk and women talk to think. Consequently, in meetings, it takes less time to hear the recommendations made by the guys as opposed to the gals. Tell your team to make recommendations that are limited to two or three sentences. Then if you like the idea, decide if you need any more information. This will help everyone to be more succinct. 3. As often as possible, meet with users, clients, or customers. I realize this is a big time demand, but what you hear first-hand from those being served by your organization can be startling and exciting. If you're worried about hurting a subordinate's feelings, take them with you, but make it clear that you're going to ask and talk a lot. 4. Snooze. According to the latest studies from Pew Research, having a mid-day nap of just 20 minutes in duration can improve mood, altertness, 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. 5. Use a smart car. It's amazing how much time we waste in the car. Improve your time management by:
- Parking your car in a getaway position. At business meetings, restaurants, movie theaters, sports games, the mall. A little pre-planning makes a big time difference. Good for the blood pressure too.
- Join the U of A. That stands for University of Automobile. If you spend time commuting or traveling between meetings, use audio books to hone your skills and keep current on new thinking. The term came from Zig Ziglar, a guy who knows performance issues.
Here's to your future!
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.