It’s been a while since the last time I posted. I have been communicating a lot with my team these days (being in home, locked down due to covid-19). I noticed that many of them are suffering on how to manage their daily tasks. This article is how I helped my team manage their time. How to help your team manage their day better?. Learn to do it my way and share your feedback whether it works for you or not.
Eating your frog of the day
Years back, I had read somewhere that it is best to start your day by eating your frog of the day. I did not quite understand the meaning of it for an exceptionally long time but When I did realise its significance, I was able to manage my lows and highs as an entrepreneur a little better.
What happens is, that while trying to finish off our daily routine. We usually tend to try to finish as many of them as possible as quickly as we can. That mostly translates into choosing the easy ones first. What that brings to our result is that some tough ones, although particularly important never get done at all. As managers, we should translate the importance of all the tasks to be done to our teams.
The Frog in your To-Do List
There are always tasks on our to-do list of which some are important. But not urgent, while others are urgent but not particularly important, or even both or none at all. And then there is the varying degree of the effort each of these tasks needs. How do you think, as managers we could contribute to helping our teams finish all these on time without putting too much burden on them?
As I often tell my team members, our day should not and would not always start, continue and end the same. Not every day is going to be managed. But we can make the most of it by doing a few things right.
Which brings me back to the frog. What I realised about the author’s meaning was that nothing could taste as bad as a frog in your mouth. When we start a meal, we normally keep the dish we like the most separately. We try to finish what we like the least first. Then we enjoy the meal by a variety of combination of dishes available. Whenever the meal starts to become boring, we try to make it better with one bite of our favourite dish. Shouldn’t we try to do the same with our routine?
Create variations in your tasks
Start with the toughest/worst task, finish eating the frog. Once through it, you know that nothing ahead is worse than that. Then for the rest of the day, create a variation in your tasks. “Easy”, “Urgent”, “Important”, all of them, and mix it up. Use the highs of finishing some of the tasks to take you through the tough ones. And whenever you feel that you are losing interest or getting bored, just take a bite out of your tasks which you enjoy the most.
Digital and social distractions
As managers, we shouldn’t only try to teach this to our team members. But, also ask them to create some blocks of time in their routine of certain tasks. Tasks which we know are going to become frogs later on, for at least some of the team members. These blocks of time should be utilized by the team members as completely free of any Digital or social distractions.
Emails, Slack, Trello, phone, WhatsApp, etc. Everything must be shut off and the time is utilized for getting some of the important tasks done. When needed, we should help our team members create these blocks of time slots based on their routine and tasks. If a manager gets involved in such ways with their team members, then it creates the expectation among all the team members asked to the importance of prioritized and focused work. When you make this a routine, your team will not fail you with an unfinished frog ever. Remember “motivation will not be available every day every time. When that happens, you can rely on discipline to take you through.
So, How to help your team manage their day better? Follow the points mentioned above. If you do something different and it helps, please share it with us in comments.
By the way, we just started a Communications Skills course which includes various important modules which would be helpful for Managers in team management. Check it out.