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Teach Your Team To Work Less And Produce More

This article was based on episode 168 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Members of The Modern Manager get a free 1:1 consult to help you discover the tools to put your WHY into your WORK and get your team the results they deserve. As an additional bonus, you get my favorite productivity hacks guide where I share my go-to tools and practices that I rely on to help me be most productive.

Get both bonuses when you become a member at themodernmanager.com/join.


How does your team define productivity? Does each person ascribe the same meaning to the word? While productivity is a goal for many, it’s definition varies widely. To some, productivity means checking off twenty things on a to-do list, while for others it’s about accomplishing a specific goal. Regardless, one thing is clear: we’re not machines that can be calibrated to specific output. That means we need to determine our optimized state carefully. As Erin Jewell explains it, we need to help our employees learn how to know and take care of themselves in order to get their most valuable work done.


Erin is an Executive Performance Growth Coach and professor of Leadership at Villanova University. She has had over 20 years of leadership experience in the healthcare sector at Fortune 500 companies like Pfizer, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic. Here, Erin explains how to optimize our brains to work more effectively, how to make sure our productivity relates to our goals, and how to get your team aligned on healthy productivity habits.


OPTIMIZE YOUR BRAIN


Shift From Fight or Flight To Rest and Digest

Stress is something we try to avoid, right? Actually, explains Erin, stress is good. Going into fight/flight mode is something our bodies enjoy doing. It helps us focus. So the problem is not stress. The problem is that after a stressful event, we need time to pause, rest, and digest from the experience. If we just jump from one stressful event to another, our brains stop functioning optimally and we burn out. We need to help our team members plan breaks throughout the day and year because in order to succeed, time to rejuvenate is essential.


Examine How And When You Work Best

We need to pay greater attention to how our bodies and minds work best. A Clock-type employee easily moves on to the next task when the allotted time is up. An Event-type employee, on the other hand, keeps on working until they are satisfied, even if they go overtime. An employee may be operating as a Clock person because they think that’s what they are supposed to do, when really they work best as an Event person.


People also differ in their sleep needs, such as being a night owl or morning person. We also differ in our hormonal rhythms. We may be more productive at certain times of the month than others. All of these factor into when and how we can do our best work. By noticing how we feel throughout the day, week, month and year, we are able to schedule or design our time to take advantage of our best hours.


Multitasking Is Not A Good Thing

Multitasking is meant for machines, not humans. Our brains work best when focusing on one thing at a time. So avoid - and teach your team to avoid - trying to get multiple things done at once. Research has shown that multitasking can reduce productivity by more than 25%! By simply concentrating on one thing at a time, we can immediately boost our productivity.


THE THREE BUCKETS OF MEANINGFUL WORK


Research shows that the higher an employee’s MQ or Meaning Quotient, the more productive they are. In short, we succeed when we do work that is meaningful to us. It’s therefore critical to have a clear sense of your goals in order to move towards them.


Once you know what your goals are, Erin suggests dividing tasks into 3 Buckets; work that is directly related to your goals, indirectly related, and not at all related. One way to assess your current time allocation is to track your time spent in each of the three buckets. You can even encourage your team members to join you. After three days of tracking tasks by whether they are directly related, indirectly related, and not related to their goals, gather as a group and report back what you learned.


We expect a lot out of ourselves and our teams. We want to achieve results, and quickly. Yet the only way to do that is to realize that we can’t work at full blast all the time. High-powered individuals regularly spend time taking care of themselves so that they have the clarity and stamina to crush the important activities directly related to their goals. Practicing meditation, taking breaks to clear your mind, and getting enough sleep are examples of common habits of high performing individuals. They’ve realized that the time they spend rejuvenating pays back in their ability to accomplish tasks later. Allow yourself the time for self care, and encourage your team members to do the same. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your team to do something important at every moment.


KEEP UP WITH ERIN

Website: https://erinjewellconsulting.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erinjewellcoaching Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinjewellconsulting/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinjewellgerst/


Members of The Modern Manager get a free 1:1 consult to help you discover the tools to put your WHY into your WORK and get your team the results they deserve. As an additional bonus, you get my favorite productivity hacks guide where I share my go-to tools and practices that I rely on to help me be most productive. Get both bonuses when you become a member at themodernmanager.com/join. Purchase individual episode guides at themodernmanager.com/shop to help you implement the learnings and continue to enhance your rockstar manager skills.


This article was based on episode 168 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.

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