You want to be more productive. I know you do. The to do list for Directors is never ending. There is always more to do. But how do you get them done? More importantly : how do you know what NEEDS to be done?
The following 10 tips are easy to implement and can help you increase your productivity immediately. Being more productive will help you achieve your goals and success more quickly.
- Don’t Multi-Task:
Focus on one task at a time. This will ensure that you are giving your full attention to what you are doing and increase your ability to utilize the power of the flow state. Use your to do list and pick off one item at a time. If someone interrupts you…Let’s be accurate…when someone interrupts you, ask if it is an emergency*. If not, say, “I’ll be right with you” and get to a stopping point or write yourself a note about where you were.
- Stay Hydrated:
Make sure that you drink water at regular intervals throughout the day. You can, of course, drink other beverages that contain water such as tea, coffee or herbal teas but don’t consume too much caffeine. Maintaining proper hydration will ensure that your brain and energy levels are optimal.
- Delegate or Outsource:
Having too much to do can hinder progress as you will focus on those items that aren’t getting done which will cause stress and anxiety. Wherever possible delegate or outsource anything that is inessential or that you are not interested in completing. Paying someone to be the opener, allowing you to come in a bit later, allows you to be prepared for parent communication, your focus for the first part of the day. Look at everything you do, write it all down, and then highlight those that only YOU can do. Pass off one item per month to an employee or subcontractor. Perhaps you can have a virtual assistant send out newsletters and do your billing.
- Plan: You can’t achieve anything without knowing what it is you want to achieve. You need to know your goals. It’s also important to create a plan on how to achieve them. Set yourself monthly & daily goals and use a to do list to help you identify what you need to achieve each day. Tick things off as they are completed.
- Time Block: Identify when you are at your most productive. Are you at your best first thing in the morning? Whatever time of day it is, schedule your most important tasks for that time. I call this TIGER TIME, because you have to guard it like a tiger. When you have a task that needs focus, schedule it for your tiger time. Make sure that you can work without interruption. Put a sign on your door, let the voice mail get the phone & let your staff know that you are going to be working and to not interrupt unless it is an emergency*.
- Use an Accountability Partner: Make yourself accountable by telling someone else what you want to achieve. Make sure you give them a target date. Report your progress regularly. By making yourself accountable you are increasing your chance of success. You’ll also have someone to talk to should things go wrong. The Director’s Success Academy, helps with this.
- Remove Distractions: If you want to become more productive then you need to remove distractions. Turn off the video feed from the classrooms and your mobile phone, shut down all social media and email. Set a specific time aside each day when you can you use those things and for the rest of the time you’ll be more productive as you won’t be constantly disturbed by messages and notifications.
- Prioritize: Sort your tasks by importance. Do the most important ones first as they are the ones that will play on your mind the most if they are not completed. In business, those tasks that earn you money are considered to be the most important and should be given top priority. Frequently we have an item on the to do list that stresses us out, like talking to a parent about a behavior issue, and we want to put it off. Don’t. Make it the first thing you accomplish for the day. If you don’t it just kind of hangs in the air and make the whole day grey and joyless. We need the joy in this job! Take the bull by the horns and do the unpleasant task first!
- Relax: This may sound counter-intuitive but relaxing does help increase your productivity! Learn how to relax and spend regular periods of time out during the day. This personal time will give you the opportunity to focus on yourself and your needs. They will lessen stress and anxiety. My personal favorites are meditation and coloring!
- Be an Early Riser:
The most successful people tend to be early risers. They have discovered that by getting up earlier they not only achieve more in their day, the day starts in a more controlled and productive manner. Use the time to meditate, exercise, read or learn something.
can become more productive if you use the tips above. If you’re not sure where
to start, then complete the action points below right now.
- Take an inventory of what you do. Highlight what only you can do. Pick one item off that list per month to delegate or hire out. It will make you money and reduce your overwhelm.
- Create a to do list. Highlight the most important task.
- Turn off or remove all distractions and start on the most important item on the to do list.
- Tidy your desk. Removing clutter can help remove distractions and reduce stress levels.
Take time to do these things. I know it is counter intuitive, based on where you are today, but it will help.
Remember how long it took to teach that pre-schooler to tie her shoes? It seemed like a never ending task, but it worked and now you never have to tie her shoes again. For decades you will not be tying her shoes. For a month you spent maybe 20 minutes working with that child so that you wouldn’t have to spend 1 minute each time she needed them tied. If that was your child, that 10 hours of work equaled 24 hours a month of saved work, not to mention, they have a new skill.
Figure out what you don’t need to do and train someone else to do it. Stay hydrated, remove distractions, guard your TIGER TIME, and get what needs to be done finished!!!! If you need more help join us at the Director Success Academy.
*Emergency- this term needs to be defined and the definition agreed upon by all the staff. For instance: arterial bleeding, unconsciousness, fire, car accident. Other things that I have had staff tell me are emergencies, that are not: a child urinated in the classroom, a staff member needs to go to the bathroom, a child bit another child. These are simply things that happen in our business.