5 Habits of Productive Managers

As a construction industry professional, you have to be a jack of all trades and, in today’s competitive market, master them too. How do successful managers find enough hours in the day? They streamline their activities to ensure that they function in the most effective and productive way. Here are some habits of successful managers from Forbes Magazine that will help you to improve job site productivity.

To Do List: Every evening before you end your day, set out a To Do list for tomorrow. This will highlight all the tasks that need to get done so you won’t be in for any surprises. Once you have created your To Do list, rank your tasks in order of importance. Scan your list and delegate as much of it as you can.

When delegating a task, assign a person, give them detailed instructions and set a deadline. Send an email even if you have discussed the matter so that there is no confusion. While there isn’t a need to micromanage, you should check up on the progress of each task the day before its deadline. Jim Sobeck from ProSales: “If you wait for a project to be delivered to you on the assigned due date, you may end up disappointed because the person you delegate it to may have forgotten about it. I typically send a reminder halfway between the date I assigned a task and the due date to make sure that the task hasn’t been forgotten.”

Focus: The To Do list is not negotiable. Unless a major emergency arises, do not be swayed from your list by the flotsam and jetsam of the day. Stay focused; any new tasks that arise can either go to the bottom of the list or on tomorrow’s To Do List.

Meetings: Reduce the time you spend in meetings. While it’s important to speak with your clients and colleagues in person from time to time, don’t waste time on things that can be dealt with via email. Where possible organize phone and video conferences to cut down on travel time. When meetings are inevitable, take five minutes to compile an agenda so that everyone can prepare appropriately.

Email, Texts and Social Media: Don’t check these every five minutes. They are an enormous distraction that can occupy the better part of your day. When you are engaged in your To Do tasks, turn off your phone and avoid checking each new email that comes in. Set aside 30 minute intervals throughout the day or when each of your To Do tasks is completed to focus on replying to texts, emails and other messages.

30 Minute Admin: Each job has tasks that are tedious and most of us avoid these which can result in delays. This may be answering emails, filing documents, submitting timesheets, accounting tasks etc. Set aside 30 minutes each day where you tackle as many of these things as you can. You will be surprised at how much you get done when you set your mind to it and, since its only 30 minutes, it’s far more manageable.

Tim Ferris from ‘The Four Hour Work Week’: “Eventually, unanswered emails, forms you haven’t filled out, and other time consuming logistic tasks will pile up if you don’t get too them. They have to be done. But the worst thing you can do is interrupt more important tasks to take care of these things as they come in. Do them all at the same time in short, intense bursts.”

These are just some pointers to help you improve job site productivity. While it’s important to be as productive as possible, you can only effectively if you are at your peak. Take time out, take breaks and keep healthy.

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