One of the causes of unnecessary employee turnover is the fact that supervisors, managers, and directors are far busier today than ever before thanks to a strategic model called “do more with less.” This philosophy has caused organizations to put more than manageable workloads onto leaders plates and it’s more critical than ever to be as efficient as possible with your work hours.
As a busy manager yourself, time is your most valuable asset. There are always more tasks to do and projects to manage than there are hours in the day. It’s no surprise that you likely feel burned out and overwhelmed, struggling to keep up with the excessive workload. However, with some simple time hacks, you can take control of your schedule and increase your productivity without sacrificing your well-being.
Here are five time and productivity hacks for busy and burned-out managers:
1. Automate where possible: Technology can be a lifesaver and automating tasks can save you hours of time each week. Look for tools and apps that can connect from your computer to your phone to help you streamline your workflow to free up your time.
Action: Some platforms to check out are: Monday.com for project management, Trello for to-do lists, Slack for team communication, Google Suite add-ons for email reminders and scheduling, and Evernote for searchable note taking.
2. Batch similar tasks together: Context switching is a productivity killer. When you have to switch between different tasks and projects, it takes time for your brain to adjust. Instead, try batching similar tasks together all at once when possible.
Action: Block out a specific time for emails or phone calls each day instead of letting those individually highjack your attention. And if you need to travel to a different part of your building to complete a task, consider all the other to-do items you could do along the way to avoid backtracking.
3. Use ChatGPT for help drafting content: ChatGPT (found at https://chat.openai.com/) can be a useful productivity tool for managers who need to create any written content, even emails. It can generate initial drafts based on your needs and commands, reducing the amount of time spent staring at a blank page or writing a first draft from scratch.
Action: Use ChatGPT to generate reusable email templates, proposals, reports, outlines, and even brainstorming lists. For example, if you have standard hiring emails you send to candidates throughout your selection process, create those templates and then keep them handy for later use.
4. Take advantage of downtime: Maximize your downtime when you’re commuting or waiting in line by catching up on podcasts, reading online articles, or finishing small tasks that don’t require a lot of focused attention, such as clearing out junk email. This can help you make the most of your time and reduce stress from work piling up around you.
Action: Use the Pocket app throughout your day to save podcasts, articles, and other links you want to review later when you have downtime. Make a short list of recurring downtime activities you can conquer when you find yourself waiting in lines.
5. Use the two-minute rule: It’s easy to procrastinate and let small tasks pile up over time, so taking care of any quick items that can be completed in two minutes or less brings a sense of accomplishment and keeps the pile at bay.
Action: When any task can be completed in two minutes or less, do it immediately if the situation allows.
Written by Magnet Culture in collaboration with ChatGPT.