When you wake up, step out of bed, and look in the mirror each morning, what do you see? What do you think of yourself as the leader of your organization? Are you confident in your capabilities? Do you feel as though you are as productive?
Every leader ponders these questions.
When it comes down to fulfilling your potential, a key step is to buckle down and be more productive. Here are a few tips that can help get you there.
Consider your employees and customers
As a leader, it’s essential to think of who you directly or indirectly impact. What would an employee or customer think of your actions and how you show up each day? There are multiple ways that leaders can increase transparency and visibility throughout the day.
Consider the recipients of your actions and make sure they derive value out of where and how you spend your time within the organization. When you exert energy and resources in a specific area of your business, a measure of productivity should connect customers and/or employees to the end benefit.
Schedule a daily reset
Have you ever thought to yourself that a day seems to end before it even begins? You rush from client meetings to conference calls without ever taking time to stop, consider, and process each encounter. Sound familiar?
If so, set time on your calendar for a daily reset. This can include scheduling meetings with a minimum 15-30 minute interval between each one. The mental space you create can give you time to think about what you are doing, process it, and pivot along the way. As you do this, you will be able to reflect more on your time spent and create more value throughout the day.
Create daily priorities
It’s easier than ever to be busy all day and still not make progress on critical work (where did that day go?). This is why it’s a good idea to approach each day with a set of priorities. Create a list that is concise and not too lengthy. The goal is to tackle each day with a maximum of three priorities.
When your to-do list is ten to twenty items long, there is little chance you’ll get to complete it all. If you try to get through a long list, you’ll find yourself rushed and doing counterproductive things. This sets you up for the need to rework later. Instead, set daily priorities and stick to it every day.
The long list is a summary of everything you need to do. That summary is not a working list; it’s a memory list. You won’t ever actually work from that list.
The priority list shows a strategic and intentional choice about what you will do for the day and where you’ll continue to focus until it’s done. It might feel absurd, but writing a few things down on a fresh priority list is the key. It makes it a commitment that you are far more likely to follow through on.
Start each day with plenty of rest
Rest is critical. As a leader, there’s a higher expectation that often includes those well-intentioned but ultimately harmful narratives that leaders ascribe to, like “Gotta keep grinding. I’ll sleep when I die.” Et cetera, et cetera.
Instead, start each day with plenty of rest, which will provide the energy you need to hustle productively.
Meanwhile, a sedentary lifestyle and work environment doesn’t do us any favors. Many business leaders find they experience back and hip pain due to copious hours sitting behind a desk. The best rest in a bed designed to deal with hip and back pain is a good first step to keep your energy up and reduce the pain that can distract from your daily intentions.
As a leader, taking things to the next level requires a commitment to productivity. Set daily priorities, start each day with plenty of rest, and leave time for reflection. Revisit your actions as you go and pivot along the way.
What keeps you productive today may not work a few months down the line. Be aware of the shifting needs within your life and business. And don’t be afraid to change course and recover your productivity when needed. Create a productivity system that works best for you.
Megan Wright is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
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