Improving Personal Efficiency

Recruiters are always searching for candidates who create and implement efficient, cost saving systems and processes.  We rarely think about implementing systems and processes to increase our personal efficiency.  It makes sense to apply the same principles of corporate efficiency to our personal lives.

Imagine if the CEO, who should be creating corporate strategies for growth and profitability, spends their days responding to emails and sitting in unproductive meetings. When we have no discipline, system or process in place, we can dramatically lose our focus and productivity.

Here are some suggestions on creating systems and processes that eliminate waste, improve efficiency and help you better manage your time:

1.    Limit the number of projects and then tackle the most crucial one first.
Making big plans means nothing if we fail to start or complete them.  We may procrastinate or lose our motivation.  When we have many projects, we may not know where to start.  We can implement a quarterly process of creating a list of projects to be completed within that quarter and then block out time every morning to work on the most challenging and highest priority and persist until all the quarterly projects are completed or the quarter ends and the next quarter’s projects are identified and prioritized.

2.    Stop multi-tasking
Multitasking may make us feel like we are accomplishing more but research shows that it actually wastes time, reduces our focus, and is less productive. We may not realize the time we spend switching between tasks and having to pick up where we left off and refresh the details. Time management tools such as RescueTime, an automatic productivity and time tracker, can help you understand how you spend your days.

3.    Set Communication Guidelines
There are automation tools and leadership techniques available to help manage emails, interruptions and ineffective meetings to create better communication.  Implement email management tools that block off uninterrupted time and then check email periodically rather than continuously. Set up a calendar program such as Calendly and ask your team to schedule time rather than randomly dropping into your office or calling.

Setting a process for meetings that include creating a detailed agenda and confirming attendees are prepared prior to the meeting start will help create more effective meetings.

An additional benefit of implementing these processes is to create a sense of accountability in your team.  Team members may try to resolve issues and create solutions before sending an email or calendaring a meeting with you.  Meetings will become more productive with clear agendas, prepared attendees, and meaningful participation.

4.    Delegate for Succession Planning
No CEO or executive can do it all and should not be doing it all.  Every good leader should be succession planning and building their bench strength through effective delegation.  This eliminates the time wasting activities and trains the leaders of the future.

When the CEO implements effective processes and procedures to improve their time management everyone will begin to evaluate their efficiencies and become more engaged in achieving the same results companywide.

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