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  • Five ideas to improve management productivity

  • Most presidents and executive management I work with are, quite rightly, focused on the big picture. When working with these clients, I am often struck by the aspects of their personal work habits that are a huge determinant of their productivity and value. Every manager would agree that having a few more hours in the day would be beneficial, but they appear to be unaware that they’re missing some key tools that would expedite their efficiency. Here are a few ideas that are easy to implement with the potential of increasing management productivity by ten, twenty or even 30%.

    Management productivity tips

    Most management productivity ideas are inexpensive

    Consider the savings if you do not hire the extra person that appears to be so desperately needed or if you had the time for a project that keeps getting delayed due to time constraints. In a standard 7 ½ hour day, a 10% improvement in productivity provides 45 minutes, that can be used to create value.

    1. Installing a second or third monitor provides a huge boost in productivity. According to the New York Times, research has shown that output will increase 20 to 30%. A whole new world opens up when you can view multiple screens displaying related, but different applications. There are many tasks that benefit from dual screen usage. At a cost of about $150, this is a step that is simple to implement.
    2. Turn off automatic email notification. Each incoming email negatively affects your productivity as you momentarily lose your train of thought. Unless you are expecting vital information for a task at hand, almost all emails can wait until you get the opportunity to respond. To make this change in Microsoft Outlook, select File/Options/Mail and in the Message arrival area de-select the appropriate boxes – I leave the box for “Show an envelope icon in the taskbar” checked, so I can see when there are unread emails to attend to (I know this seems complicated but Microsoft buried this, not me!) I am sure you will find it worth the effort to deal with this.
    3. Ensure that you, your managers and staff are well-trained on the systems required for each position. I have observed employees processing tasks in ineffective ways, often again and again, being unaware of features that would significantly enhance their productivity. A good training program goes a long way. People who have figured it out for themselves, very often do not use the most efficient method. Even simple systems are complex and often have features that are not obvious or easy to find. This applies to all systems, equally to both industry or function specific software systems and to office software tools e.g., MS Office programs such as Excel and Outlook.
    4. Review the procedures in place in your function. When was the last time you reviewed the methodology for each task for each member of your staff? There are certain to be ways to streamline processes and eliminate those that are redundant. Make “continuous improvement” your mantra. If you are alert to the opportunities and are proactive about making the change, you’ll find improvements in productivity, processes and outputs in the most unusual places.
    5. Close your office door when you need time to concentrate on a project. In many organizations working behind a closed door is frowned upon. However, sometimes it is necessary to work on something for an hour or two without interruption. You should feel comfortable closing your door, ignoring your phone and all electronic devices, while you work on a specific task. While a closed door can be seen as an affront to some, communicating about the need will provide understanding and respect. If you do this a few times a week, you will find your ability to complete assignments increases significantly.

    You probably feel that you already have some of these measures under control. Choose an untried one and start working on making improvements in that area, today. If you find yourself saying that you do not have the time to work on any of these ideas, then you almost certainly need to focus on how you set priorities.

    Use the time gained to focus on an area where you can create value for the business.

    More management productivity ideas

    There are other great ideas that I can provide to increase management productivity. Please complete the form on the right side of the page and insert “MORE MANAGEMENT PRODUCTIVITY IDEAS” into the comments section and submit the form – I will provide you with more ideas.

    Find more ideas for improving your business by visiting our blog archives page.

    Article by: James Phillipson