091 – How Managers Can Use ‘Positioning’ to Save Time & Increase Productivity
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Alright, so this is probably the single biggest challenge that holds back managers from reaching their potential and I have absolutely no idea why it’s taken me 90 episodes to talk about it.
But here I am today and I’m going to talk about it, but I’m actually not going to solve it right now. While I’ll tell you the solution, I don’t have time right now to dive into exactly how to solve it, because this topic is just way too important to just scratch the surface, so I’d rather go in depth another time.
I’m talking about time management and productivity.
Go into any office. Go onto any production floor. Hop into any retail establishment. Walk onto any construction site. And speak with any manager. It’s the same complaint.
I could be a better leader. I could get more done. I could have a more significant impact. I could turn things around. I could achieve me goals.
If only I had more time.
And as I said, I have a solution… but I’m not going to be able to dive too deeply into it right now, but that doesn’t make me heartless. I’m not simply saying I have the answer and walking away. I’m going to say at the end of today’s show that I have the answer, come follow me and I’ll show you.
But there are a few places I need to go before you’ll be convinced.
First of all, if I were you, I would be skeptical about what I just said. In fact, I’m skeptical of almost every time management recommendation out there right now because most time management strategies require immense dedication and discipline.
From inbox zero to complicated to-do lists and prioritization methods to apps and various software solutions, to convoluted employee analysis and delegation methods.
There’s a lot of information out there, a lot of great ideas, and sometimes that information overload is exactly what keeps you from success.
I mean, if you are like me, you’ve probably created to-do lists only to throw them out or just ignore them because stuff just gets in the way and looking at all the things you missed or all the things you have left on your plate is simply overwhelming.
And as much as I’d like to tell you it’s okay… which it is, just because you’ve struggled in the past doesn’t mean that success in this area is unattainable.
But I don’t want to make it appear easy. I will tell you how simple it can be for leaders to improve productivity and control their time, but I will not for a second tell you it’s easy. Because what I’m going to suggest requires change and change is difficult.
And I also don’t want to brush this off like it’s unimportant, because that’s the other danger.
These things we are talking about right now. Time Management and Productivity – It’s a big deal.
Because when there isn’t enough time or you can’t get enough done… it’s stressful. In fact, let me tell you a couple things about stress, starting with the top two source of stress, which are… can you guess?
Money and work. (http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2015/snapshot.aspx)
Stress affects your musculoskeletal system, your respiratory system, and your cardiovascular system. It increases blood sugar, it leads to overeating, it increases the severity of heartburn, it can cause stomach pain, it affects how your body absorbs nutrients, it causes wear and tear on your body and fatigue, it increases vulnerability to infection, and can really do a number to both men and women’s reproductive systems. (http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx)
So money and work are the top sources of stress, and money is generated through work, so you could argue that work is the single biggest contributor to stress.
And it’s pretty clear the stress has a whole gamut of negative impacts to your body, which in turn affect you mentally, affecting your relationships, your energy levels, your ability to focus, and as the snowball grows, it also impacts your performance at work, therefore increasing the likelihood of work-related stress.
But if there was just more time, if I could just get more done, if I could get out of the office on time, or if there weren’t so many distractions, or if there weren’t so many fires to put out, or if my employees could just do their job properly, or if my boss would just understand how much is on my plate.
Talk to anyone who is underperforming at work… they want more time don’t they?
For manager’s this can be worse, because management isn’t just about the technical execution of tactical responsibilities. It’s about building vision, it’s about goal setting, it’s about developing relationships.
Those things cost time, and if I just had more time then maybe I could work on those things, but by the time I get my work done, by the time our team hits the deliverables, there isn’t enough time left for that development stuff or we’re too exhausted to even think about it.
And personal development? Self-development? Why do you think I’m listening to a podcast right now on my drive to work, or during my work-out, or while I’m multi-tasking on something else. It’s because I don’t have time to sit down and read a book, I don’t have time to work on the things I know I need to work on.
Are you overwhelmed? I’m overwhelmed just talking about this, but it’s a reality.
And it’s not really your fault. Our world is speeding up with technology and how we get work done is changing as the latest employee engagement initiatives transform office cultures.
On the technology side, think about this for a moment. Go back 20 years and email was new! In fact, in 1997 is when Steve Jobs rejoined apple. There was no wifi. If you were out of the office, you didn’t get your messages until you returned. If you wanted to send something, most people used fax machines. The first blackberry wasn’t even introduced until 1999.
So what I’m saying is that this immediate access to communication we have today, the world of instant messaging and expected instant responses… is new.
Beyond this, we are in a world that is so heavily dependent on data, most companies don’t allow you to make a phone call without it being tracked somewhere. Simple activities now require additional work so that our data can be correct.
We are are moving faster than ever before but in some cases we are over-complicating our work.
And even if you remove technology, you don’t need to look very far in terms of how we get work done to understand two things.
Work is designed to maximize efficiency and employee satisfaction is king.
Any production environment from fabrication and assembly to fast food restaurants are built from lean manufacturing principles. Which is great, how can people perform their work more efficiently, right? The only problem is that once something is obtained, that’s the new performance standard.
Once you find a way for 1 person to do the job of 2 people, you’ll never have 2 people do that job again.
Then there is the employee satisfaction piece. It’s trendy to have completely open concept offices, personal office spaces that need to be signed-out like library books, and games rooms, lunch-time activities, flexible hours, telecommuting opportunities, and a coffee shop on every corner.
And I don’t necessarily think any of this is bad. It’s just understandable why time management is such a challenge today.
So let me ask you, do you sometimes just wish you had more time? Okay, who wouldn’t say yes to that.
So let me ask you this instead. What would happen if you found a way to be more productive at work? If you were able to gain control over your time and get more done in less time, how would that impact the way you lead your team?
Would your stress decrease? And even that, if you found a way to decrease stress at work, how would that impact the way you lead your team?
I mean, this is a big deal. This isn’t just a good idea.
Again, this is the number one complaint from managers. They wish they had more time because we all know what I’m talking about is true. We’re busy, there’s a lot on our plates, and we have so many great ideas, so many dreams and aspirations for where we want to take our career, for where we want to take our business, for how we want to lead our people, and we know that our productivity… our ability to actually get things done efficiently and effectively… and our employee’s ability to get things done efficiently and effectively… they are the key to accomplishing any important goal we set.
The saying goes that a goal is simply a dream with a plan… but here’s the thing. If you can’t execute on the plan, you don’t achieve your goal.
So the pointed question that follows all this is, okay, we know there is a problem… what are you going to do about it?
And I’ve actually got some good news for you right now. You’re doing something about it right now by listening to this podcast and that tells me two things.
You recognize there is a problem, if you didn’t think this was of concern, you would have tuned me out a while ago. But you also care. You care about you… but I think you care about the people you impact through your leadership and through your personal relationships.
It’s important to figure this out because of what’s at stake. You are still listening because amidst the common challenges we all face, you understand that there is opportunity to change and that change could improve the quality of your relationships and the effectiveness of your leadership… and that’s important.
So what I’m going to do in a minute or so is tell you what the solution is. Again, I don’t have time right now to explain it all, but I will give you the answer.
But before I share that, I have to tell you why I feel so confident in what I’m about to share.
It’s because I was a failing manager 6 years ago and it took an entire shift in perspective to turn things around, but I turned things around and within 1 year, I went from earning $50-60K to earning $175K, and it’s not about the money, and to be honest, that’s not even enough money to warrant a get-rich quick story, I’m not here telling you that you’re going to make millions of dollars.
It’s about transformation.
I made this one simple change to the way that I operated and my time management capabilities, my productivity and my leadership effectiveness was transformed.
That change was from traditional management, reactive management, to shoulder-to-shoulder leadership. And you may have heard me talk about shoulder-to-shoulder leadership before but that’s not the time management solution.
The solution is positioning.
It’s about being in the right position to be most effective.
And I’m going to tell you the story of my own transformation and I’m going to share with you 3 secrets of positioning this Thursday through a live 1-hour training on leadership effectiveness, time management and productivity.
Again, I’m not saying that I have the answer, see ya, good luck!
I’m saying that I have the answer, and whether you believe me or not, I want you to follow me so I can show it to you. And I’m going to show it to you through a free live webclass this Thursday.
And you can register for it at YourBesManager.com/Webinar
How Managers Can Use ‘Positioning’ to Save Time and Increase Productivity WITHOUT Getting Overwhelmed by Lengthy To-Do Lists, Confusing Time Management Techniques, and Endless Interruptions.
THREE SECRETS OF POSITIONING
Secret #1 – Positioning: How to get more done in less time and lead a more productive team by simply being in position.
Secret #2 – Preparation: How spending just 10 minutes with the right information can position you to most effectively lead your team.
Secret #3 – Performance: How to stay in position, keep focus and eliminate distractions while improving employee performance
And again, to register, please visit YourBestManager.com/Webinar
Thanks for listening.