Ask anyone what they think of an executive’s life and you’ll get the same assumption: BUSY. According to a study by two Harvard professors, executives lead busier lives, working on average 9.7 hours per weekday, 62.5 hours per week. But here it is: these numbers were obtained in 2006, long before the pandemic disrupted the modern world of work. In 2020, most companies have moved to remote and hybrid working, so executives have had to get used to a new kind of leadership as well. From home, without being able to see their employees or business partners, and without the “milestones” of a normal workday, leading suddenly became more stressful. Time management was the biggest problem. Since this was a new way of working, many executives found it was much more difficult to plan their day, and most of the time they were working incessantly, trying to make up for their time away from the office.
As the line between work and personal life blurs, the burnout rate of executives started to increase and managers found themselves doing too much and doing too little. If you’re struggling to stay organized, achieve your goals, and prioritize personal care while working from home, these tips may help:
Use a productivity app.
Do you still use a notebook to sort your tasks? Or worse, do you only plan your day in your head? While it may seem to work, it’s not the most efficient way to organize your time. To get a clear overview of the day / week ahead, use a productivity app instead. There are hundreds of choices, both free and paid, and the biggest benefit of using them is that you’ll never forget to do something again. You can set reminders, sort tasks by priority, move tasks from day to day and everything is synced in the cloud, which means you can access your calendars and task lists from any location. device connected to the Internet. Another cool feature is that you can share calendars and task lists. This way you can keep others in the loop without having to personally send them a message about your plans.
If you still do everything yourself, you might know these excuses:
- It’s faster to do the job myself than to explain to someone else how to do it(True, but you only have to explain it once).
- I don’t trust anyone else to do this job(If you never trust your employees, they will never grow and hone their skills.)
- Doing this task makes me feel indispensable to my team (Your team might appreciate your work in other areas as well)
A study has shown that executives who delegate tasks generate up to 33% additional income, so learn to say no to certain tasks. Of course, you don’t have to delegate absolutely everything – just the tasks that someone else can do that keeps you from focusing on the big things.
Hire a virtual assistant
Most executives struggle to fit things into their schedules, but not because everything they do involves strategic planning and leadership. Most of the time, an executive’s time is occupied with paperwork, sending emails, scheduling meetings, and other small but boring tasks. By the time you finish these tasks, you might not have enough energy to work on the management tasks, which are the ones that really matter. To save time and be more productive, you can hire a virtual assistant who can help you remotely. Virtual assistant agencies like Virtual can put you in touch with an assistant who knows your field and business and can do the tasks that take up too much of your time, whether it’s inbox management, planning, project management or HR.
Apply the 80/20 rule
Also known as the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of your results are determined by 20% of your activities. In other words, a successful and productive executive is not necessarily someone who works twelve hours a day, but someone who uses their time wisely, on the right things. If you know your strengths, you can achieve in two days more than other managers in a week, so to really boost your productivity you need to follow these steps:
- Identify the things you’re good at, and it can only be done by you
- Rank your daily tasks according to the amount of effort involved
- Then categorize the tasks again based on their impact on the business.
- Identify tasks that waste too much time
- Delegate time-consuming tasks to another employee or virtual assistant
- Work on critical tasks when you feel most productive
Knowing when to take time off
“I will rest when I am dead” is perhaps a popular saying among executives, but it is one of the most toxic and self-sabotaging principles one can follow. While being responsible and hard-working is essential for any ambitious entrepreneur, working around the clock and neglecting your personal needs can never get you too far. First of all, not taking time off sooner or later affects your physical and mental health. Over time, stress and burnout increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other dangerous chronic diseases, reducing your quality of life. Second, neglecting self-care is scientifically proven to make you a bad leader. Numerous studies have shown that chronic stress interferes with your ability to make good decisions at critical times, to think quickly under pressure, and to resolve conflicts at work. You may think of stress as something that only affects you, but if you are constantly tired and irritable it will spread to your employees, which could cause stress at work and high turnover.
Multitasking is NOT your friend.
Multitasking can make you feel like a superhero, but if you look strictly at the results, it rarely works. According to science, less than 3% of people can multitask effectively. In the rest of the cases, multitasking only gives you the illusion of productivity, but you don’t do these things as well as you could by taking them one by one, and that’s because your brain is skipping. back and forth and can’t focus properly. .
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