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Productivity hacks for the modern leader

Productivity hacks for the modern leader

February 2017 by

Woman with clock in front of her face

Leaders need to be extra vigilant when it comes to productivity. How can you become more effective in your day-to-day tasks? Let's take a look. 


Productivity is an expectation in leadership. You need to be able to prioritise, reshuffle and give adequate attention to your various tasks. It is certainly a skill that can be mastered, but like anything it takes some conscious effort. So what can you do to boost your productivity as a leader? We have a few tips and tricks for finance leaders looking to make the most of their time.


Pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses

In order to become more productive you need to first understand what usually stands in between you and getting your work done. Do you get distracted by incoming emails while you're performing other tasks? Do you misplace your handwritten notes and then waste time trying to recall meeting points? Nail down your biggest roadblocks to productivity.


Post it notes can help you stay focused

Do little handwritten notes help you stay on task or distract you?

You also need to be cognisant of what drives your productivity. Are you somebody that benefits from calendar notifications on Google? Do post-it notes keep you on top of tasks? Use the tools that work for you to combat the things that keep you from doing your job – the resulting solution should be a perfect match.


Be smart about your downtime

While pinpointing your strengths and weaknesses, it's likely that you'll have had a think about what times of day are most active for you. For a lot of people the last few hours of the day tend to be slower periods. For some, it takes an hour or so in the morning to really get working. Be mindful of these slower periods and have plans in place.

According to Fast Company contributor Larry Alton, you should fill your downtime with soft projects – tasks that help you remain productive but don't necessarily require a lot of focus. One of the best activities for people with a tendency to slow down at the end of the day is making a to-do list for the following day. Getting a head start on tomorrow by planning what you need to do, when you need to do it and how you plan on completing it is something that requires less focus but also positions you to excel the next day.

Part of your job involves ensuring you are giving your team what they need to be productive themselves.


Invest in your team's productivity

As a leader, it's important to avoid getting tunnel-vision. While it's critical to remain on track with your individual goals, part of your job involves ensuring you are giving your team what they need to be productive themselves. If you can help your team be productive, you can make your organisation more productive as a whole and potentially advance some of your personal initiatives as well.

The path to individual productivity is unique for everyone. It's a matter of finding what works for you. Invest some time in seeing what tricks work to improve the effectiveness of your day and your day-to-day work life can improve considerably.


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