April 3, 2017

How to stay productive as a leader

We talk a lot about motivating employees and improving productivity across the workforce. But what about leaders? It's often a set expectation that people in leadership roles have an endless supply of brain power and energy to dedicate to various tasks. 

Unfortunately, chances are you're not a superhuman with no need for rest, and sometimes it takes serious effort to be productive. So, to make your busy life easier, here are some tips how you can boost your productivity:

Use your downtime for tasks that require less focus. Use your downtime for tasks that require less focus.

1. Use your downtime wisely

Each person has their own rhythm. Some are morning people and benefit from starting work at 6 a.m., whereas others can get the bulk of their to-do-list out of the way in the later hours of the day. 

As you have established the most active parts of the day for you, Fast Company contributor Larry Alton also suggests to use your downtime effectively. For individuals who tend to lose focus at the end of the work day, for example, he recommends doing soft projects. This may involve organising your desk, making a list for the following day or completing a task that requires less concentration while putting you ahead for the next productive period. 

2. Leverage your preferences

Knowing how you can avoid distractions and structure your work well means knowing where your strengths and weaknesses are first. Ask yourself whether you benefit from handwritten notes or Google calendars to plan and prioritise projects and choose the solution that best works with your preferences. 

To be as productive as possible, even leaders need to pay attention to the small things affecting their attention throughout the day. Once you have a solid understanding of the biggest obstacles to making use of your energy, use the tools that will help counteract these. 

Make exercise a part of your life to improve productivity. Make exercise a part of your life to improve productivity.

3. Make your health a priority

Inc. contributor Larry Kim highlights how important exercising regularly, sleeping enough and staying hydrated is for productivity. Fact is, the better you take care of your physical and mental health, the more productive you are able to work. 

As such, a well-rested mind and body is better able to tackle busy workloads and prevent burnouts. 

There is no one-way to harness your productivity potential. After all, each person has their own unique preferences, strengths and needs. However, investing time to reflect on just what it is that makes or breaks a productive day for you can be the first step to a heightened productivity on a daily basis.