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5 Ways You Can Supercharge Your Productivity

Have you ever noticed that some people always seem to have enough time to get everything done? How can they get 30 hours of work to fit into a 24 hour day? Even when they’re switching between multiple tasks, they don’t lose a step in their productivity. Here are the 5 ways you can supercharge your productivity so that you can have a similar experience.

#1. See it now, do it now.

People who are very productive don’t address the same issues on multiple occasions. If they open up an email, then they respond to that email immediately. If a phone message comes in, they take care of the issue right away. When anything is stored to be completed later, that means you’ve got to handle that problem at least twice. Handling anything more than once is one of the easiest ways to waste time during the day.

#2. They get ready before it’s time to get ready.

Those last 20 minutes of any working day tend to be spent talking with others, sitting back to relax in the office chair, or in other unproductive ways. Those who have supercharged productivity tend to prepare for their next working day at the end of the current day. That allows them to come into work in the morning and get started right away instead of taking 20 minutes to prepare their day.

#3. The hardest stuff gets completed first.

We all have certain tasks that we don’t like to do. For some it’s answer emails. For others it might be writing emails. There are always certain co-workers, clients, or supervisors that we avoid at all costs. The folks who are supercharged will complete the hardest tasks they need to do over the course of any given day first before anything else. By getting rid of the bad stuff first, the rest of the day can be dedicated to things that are fun and exciting. That helps them to become even more productive because they like what they do.

#4. There is a recognition of what is truly urgent.

There are some emergency situations that require an urgent response. Then there are situations that might seem like an emergency on the surface, but it is something that in reality that could wait 24-48 hours. People who have supercharged their productivity have learned to recognize the difference between something that has to be done immediately and something that can wait. The issue with these urgent tasks is that they never seem to go away, so all of your attention winds up going to them in time.  When push comes to shove, the most productive people have also learned that delegation can be their best friend.

#5. They stick to the schedule.

Meetings are notoriously bad for going off-schedule. Sometimes the urge to take a longer lunch kicks in. There’s the roving co-worker who always seems to be drinking coffee and talking to others. Supercharged productivity requires strict schedule adherence for it to work. By staying on task, what you’re really doing is setting limits as to what you’ll accept or not accept when it comes to interference. Maybe you can take a longer lunch because you’re ahead of schedule… or maybe you can tell that roving co-worker to leave you alone because you’ve got a tight deadline to meet.

Supercharging your productivity starts with a commitment to limit procrastination. Deciding not to do something will always cost you time. By implementing these 5 ideas, however, you can get a remarkable amount of work done every day.

5 Ways to Manage Someone You Don’t Like

In a perfect world, we’d all like to manage people that we’d be as comfortable sharing a drink with them as working with them on a professional team. Going beyond the pleasantries and ability to find common ground, when there is general “likeableness,” work is just easier.

Unfortunately not everyone wants to be your friend when you’re the manager. Some are out for blood and want to take your job! Others just hate you for the fact that you’re the one in charge. I once had a direct report try to sabotage a project because he thought that if the job looked bad, then I’d look bad and be replaced.

The reasons why we don’t like someone can vary. What doesn’t vary is how we can effectively manage them. Here are 5 key lessons I’ve learned over the years:

1. Friendships Are Less Important At Work

Having a good friend at work can help the day go by much more quickly. Multiple studies have shown, in fact, that there are higher job satisfaction levels present when people have a best friend at work! When you’re in management, finding friendships is still important, but finding them outside of your team is usually a better idea. When you’re friends with a direct report, it becomes more difficult to discipline them should it become necessary… and if you do, that discipline can end up stopping a friendship cold anyway.

2. Stay Positive In All Things

Those sayings like “find the silver lining” or “look for the sunny side of things” grate on my nerves some days, but the truth in the message is clear. By staying positive in all circumstances, even when you’re around someone you’d rather avoid, you are leading by example as a manager. Every project at work will encounter some sort of difficulty. How you handle it will help show your direct reports where the silver lining can be found.

3. Everyone Contributes Something

I’ve found that the people I tend to dislike the most while working are the people who are the most like me. I find that this dislike stems from the fact that they have the potential to do what I do, only better. As the manager, you’re supposed to be the best right? Not necessarily. As the manager, your role is to be the team leader. That means making sure everyone contributes something based on their best strengths – even if those strengths are similar… or better than your own.

4. Work Closely Together

It’s not about keeping your enemies closer than your friends. It’s about learning what makes a person tick. You don’t have to like a person in order to understand them. Then, when you have managed to understand their perspective, that dislike you have for that person tends to start fading away. It also works in reverse – when those who don’t like you work more closely with you, their understanding of you helps to ease the discomfort.

5. Confront Fast, But Praise Faster

The most common reason to dislike someone is because they don’t contribute like they should. It could be because of laziness, brashness, or even arrogance. If you’re noticing the bad stuff as a manager, your team has known about it for weeks most likely! By fast to confront negative behaviors that could drop your team’s morale, but be faster to praise the good job a person does. Negativity is often brought about because of a lack of recognition, so put the emphasis there.

Just don’t be afraid to be proactive about the bad stuff too.

It’s not always easy to manage someone you don’t like, but it is very doable. Use these tips to work on your own interactions and you just may find that the working relationship is more about respect than it is about how much one is liked.

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