Improving your capacity
High productivity does not have to be complicated when looking at improving teams capacity. You do not need to start by attending elaborate courses, implementing fancy systems or spend months reading time management books. Adjusting old work habits could be the best place to start.
In my many years of experience, I have found doing just one simple thing can dramatically improve anyone’s performance. The one thing is pre-planning. The 7Ps – Proper Pre Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Excuse the language, but if that helps you to remember it, which will be a good thing.
Most of us arrive at work and immediately dive into emails or papers on our desk. We think we are efficient by doing this, but we are making a serious error. The truth is if we spent the first fifteen minutes carefully planning our day would be much more productive. Our reaction to rush into what we know and understand seems to be instinctive.
Here’s a four-step process for planning more effectively:
- First, create a To-Do List for the day
- Then pick three items which will have the most significant impact
- Then itemise tasks you can delegate or outsource
- Plan out each hour of your day putting the three significant items first
- Move uncompleted tasks to do first up the next day.
This planning process usually takes between ten and fifteen minutes to do. If it takes any longer, you probably need to do a complete overhaul of your to-do list delegating or outsourcing as many items as you can. In my experience, this simple process makes a surprising difference to how much you achieve during a day.
The attitude to pre-planning will also be useful before meetings, important presentations or beginning critical conversations. The more clearly you plan, the better your performance will be. Your productivity and capacity to get things happening will depend on it.
A tell-tale sign you might need some new systems to improve your productivity.
Improving teams capacity
As your team grows, it becomes less about you and more about how they perform and improving teams capacity. With this in mind, here’s an efficient way to improve each person’s performance. Talk with each of them for 2-3 minutes at the start of each day.
Ask questions like:
- What are you working on at the moment?
- Is everything going okay for you?
- What are your two most important tasks today?
- Is there anything you are unsure about or
- Do you need additional resources?
- Will you be able to meet your deadlines?
- How are you looking for those deadlines?
It only takes a few minutes, but the effects can be extraordinary. People will feel like you care, so morale goes up. They will understand more clearly the tasks and how to accomplish them more efficiently.
You get to hear of potential problems before they become out of control. Your entire team knows you are interested in their welfare and the outcomes they achieve, so they lift their game, as they become more committed and accountable.
The few minutes you invest improving teams capacity will have a significant pay-off by saving you much time and money in fixing problems. It is one technique which can massively improve your team’s capacity and performance almost immediately.
“Do it today; you might like it and want to do it again, tomorrow”. Peter Sergeant
“Don’t waste the minutes and the hours and days will look after dreams, and appropriate timing will prevail”. Peter Sergeant