Leadership Project Management

Tips for Remote Working-Part 2

Ways to make the most of remote working

Last week we gave you three very useful tips on how to make the most of remote work. This week we look at three more ways to overcome the challenges of working remotely.

Keep in contact

One of the big downsides (or upsides, depending on your personality) of remote work is that you’re not face-to-face with your co-workers. It can be problematic, especially if you’re part of a team. To overcome this problem make sure you and your colleagues are all using the same chat program. Create a chat group, schedule regular catch-ups (at the start and end of the week), and be as engaged as much as you can. Just because you work remotely doesn’t mean that you can’t collaborate as well as if you were in an office.

Try and be social

If you’re a solitary type who’s happiest when alone, then remote work is an ideal situation. However, if you’re not that way inclined, it can get pretty lonely. It’s important that you don’t isolate yourself. You need to make sure that you schedule social interactions. It could be a regular lunch date with a close friend, a video call with a loved one abroad or a simply a group exercise class. You need to guard against ‘cabin fever’, not just for your piece of mind but your productivity also.
Top tip: One of the best ways to get a handle on working remotely is with a great task manager. Try Easynote today, the web’s easiest-to-use project management tool.

Don’t get disturbed

Yes, it’s important to be social. Yes, it’s important to keep in regular contact. But sometimes you need to drop off the grid. Some team members, especially ones you get on well with, can be distracting. You know how it goes. You’ve to meet a 5pm deadline but every two minutes you get another message from your co-worker about last night’s Game of Thrones episode. It can be pretty frustrating, especially if you’re tempted to chime in. So next time, instead of getting distracted by dragons and white walkers, ‘mute’ the group chat or use a ‘Do not disturb’ function, to let your colleagues know that you’re busy at work.

Leadership Project Management Top News

Ways to Work Faster-Part 3

How to work faster and be more productive

Now that you’ve read parts one and two on ways to work faster, you’ll have noticed that you’re getting through work faster than ever before. But don’t rest on your laurels just yet. Strive for more, and try these three ‘practical’ methods to help you work faster, and maximise productivity:

Create Templates

Let’s be frank here! Life can be pretty repetitive, work especially. Chances are you’ve created the same spreadsheets, written the same e-mails, and done the same day-to-day tasks over and over, and over again.
Save yourself a lot of time and effort, and create some templates. Whether it’s customer reply e-mails, blog posts or reports, chances are that large parts can be re-used every time. While it may take you some time to create these templates, there’s few better ways to save time, relieve stress and work faster.

Keep a Checklist

Whenever you’re working on an important task, it’s crucial to know what you’ve done, and what you need to do. Before you start on a task, especially a big one, create a checklist. It’s a sure-fire way to remember what steps you need to take to get the task done.
Also, as we’ve talked about above, it’s likely you’ll do the same task again. So it’s a good idea to keep your checklists so you can use them the next time.
Top tip: You can create checklists in Easynote, so you’ll always be on top of your task, no matter how big or small.

Reward Yourself

Work shouldn’t be just an end in itself. It should be a means to an end. Make that ends, in the short run at least, a nice reward for yourself. It could be something small like a cool beer at the end of the day (or a cold drink if you’re a non-drinker), or something a little more grand-maybe a weekend away with your better half!
Whatever it is, make sure it motivates you enough to get the task done on time. Hopefully you’ll find that the more you reward yourself with every finished task, the more likely you are to get your work done faster.


Work less, do more and be more productive

Let us give you some great tips on how you can work less and be more productive.

Let’s be honest here. Even though you work a 40 hour week, you probably don’t do 40 hours of work. And you know what, you shouldn’t. Too many people conflate being busy with being productive. They think that if they spend every waking minute working they’ll get more done, that they’ll be more productive. That’s just not the case.
If you really want to get more done, and be more productive, what you need to do is work less. I know, it sounds counterintuitive but don’t just take my word for it. Productivity experts, drawn from across the globe, have made the same conclusion. Not only that, many of them have found that constant work can be hugely counterproductive.
Take the case of Latvia’s Draugiem Group, who tracked the time and productivity of their employees. Not only did they find that their most productive employees didn’t work more hours than anybody else, they found they took more breaks. On average, the most productive ten per cent worked for 52 minutes and then took a 17-minute long break.
To put it in other terms, breaks took up a quarter of their work day-now that’s a lot of downtime. However, during those 52 minutes they worked with intense purpose and focus. They got things done, they were super-productive. For them, work’s a matter of short intense sprints with regular breaks, during which they can rest up and get ready for the next.
Conversely, those who don’t take regular breaks, and treat work more like a marathon, are often more tired, stressed and disorganised than their more well-rested colleagues. Also, most of us aren’t wired to focus on any given task for more than a couple hours (at most). Those who try to often lose focus and purpose, and the quality of their work suffers as a result. All in all, they put in much more effort and get the same or less reward.
So, if you really want to get more done, if you really want to be as productive as you can, take regular breaks. Even if you work in a high-pressure environment, like financial services, try and find some time to break up the day. Take a stretch outside, read a news article or listen to a few minutes of your favourite podcast. Do whatever you need to do to get that recharge because remember, work isn’t a marathon, it’s a series of short sprints.
Sometimes less is more.

Leadership Top News

Ways to Work Faster-Part One

How to work faster and be more productive

Do you want to be more productive at work? Do you want to work faster?
Of course you do. You live in a fast world where it can be hard to keep up. You’ve got a lot of competitors out there, both at home and abroad, who want to get ahead of you. That’s why now, more than ever before, it’s so important for you to be able to do your tasks faster.
So, what can you do? Well, if you want to get out in front, you need to work fast, and you need to work smart, so you can be as productive as you can. Here, in the first part of a three part series, are just three ways in which you can work faster, be super-productive, and take the lead on the competition.

Have a plan before you start

Don’t wait till work fastermorning! Too many people make the mistake of making a plan to work when they should be working, wasting valuable time when they could be productive. What you should do instead is create a to-do list the day before or, if possible, a week in advance. Decide what tasks you need to do, how much time you’re willing to spend on each of them, and, as explained below, do the most important stuff first.

Do the hardest tasks first

In the words of Mark Twain “If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” I know, it’s tempting to do the easy tasks first and ‘ease’ your way into the hard ones later, but you shouldn’t. Very successful people don’t dither when it comes to the hard stuff, they get straight to it. As Brian Tracy, the author of Eat That Frog, puts it “The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on.”

Set a time for each task

Be strict with your time, and work with a sense of urgency. These are two traits that are common to the most successful people. If you think it’s possible to complete a hard task in four hours, try and do it in four hours or less. When you stick to strict deadlines, you’ll find that you work faster as you attempt to get important tasks done on time. Conversely, when who don’t set deadlines, you’ll find your work takes far longer to do than it really should.


Leadership Top News

5 Ways You Can Work Better Together as Shared Owners

There can be advantages to shared ownership. For it to work, you’ve to be open to different views and ways of doing things, which can often lead to a more innovative and productive workplace for you as shared owners.

However, there can be disadvantages too. Stubbornness, egotism and the refusal to do things someone else’s way, can lead to inefficiency, stagnation and a toxic work environment. So, what’s to be done? How can multiple owners work better together? Here’s five ways you can:
Distinguish Between Owners and Managers
Just because someone’s an owner, doesn’t mean they should be a manager. It’s not uncommon for non-managerial owners to cite their ownership as reasons to overturn a management decision. You need to practice corporate governance, and make sure that major management decisions are not continually undermined by some owners.
Constantly Communicate
It’s a simple suggestion but a good one. You can never communicate too much in a company with shared ownership. It’s not just important, it’s crucial that you always listen to others, regardless of how big their stake is. Inspiration and innovation can come from anyone, and it’s important that when you think you’ve a good idea that you communicate it, and when someone does in turn that you listen.
Don’t be Afraid to Show Weakness
People in successful relationships, professional and personal, aren’t afraid to admit to their own weaknesses. You need to trust the other owners and value their trust in return. Your weakness may be another owner’s strength, and vice versa. When you’re comfortable with the other owners, and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to work better together and achieve great things as shared owners.
Challenge Each Other
Whether it’s Microsoft, Apple or Berkshire Hathaway, successful partnerships foster healthy competition and reward achievement. Compete with each other, and strive to show how each of you can make the company better. If you feel you’ve achieved more than the other owners, keep going. They’ll look to your example and set higher standards for themselves.
Learn to Take Hits to Your Ego
For many, it’s easier said than done. However, for shared ownership to work, each owner must be willing to take hits to their ego. Don’t take it too personally when others tell you that your perfect idea is flawed. True collaboration, the kind that shared ownership needs, only works when you and the other owners accept that not every individual idea you have (or every decision you make) might not always be the best.
Would you like to know how to lead by example? Read our article here: 10 Ways to Lead by Example

Leadership Top News

10 Ways to Lead By Example

Do you want to know how to lead by example?

To be a good project manager or a leader you must lead by example and that is one of the most important qualities you must have as a leader. It’s very important that you are showing the way forward, how things should be done, that you are the one taking initiative but also that you are not afraid to make mistakes.
We are all humans, and we make mistakes but you are the one as a leader who needs to take a step forward and be the leader who everyone else wants to follow.
There are different leadership styles, but when it comes to project management you are the one who is steering the boat.
You as a leader are the one who need to:

  • Take initiatives
  • Follow up and delegate responsibility
  • Be humble
  • Be supportive
  • Know who your stakeholders are
  • Stay positive and have a smile even when a tough times are coming

These are some of the main points you need to have as a leader and by doing these things are also leading by example.
Don’t be afraid of the unknowns, what might happened or what might go wrong. You are never alone and you have probably someone else who you can ask for advice or support.

Be a leader, and lead by example then you will have happy project member or co-workers who will do more than needed.
Motivation is the key to success and by leading by example you are the one who is motivating everyone in your team.

Here are 10 ways of many different ways to lead by example.

  1. Take responsibility for things, and even they might not be your mistakes try to sort them out in order to keep your team members happy
  2. Listen to your team member or co-workers. People like to be heard and listen to and one of the things as human being we like to be listened to and respected.
  3. Be honest. One of the main keys to gain trust is to be honest in whatever you do. What do you want, how, and what would you like to have as outcome.
  4. Take initiative and show others how things can or should be done. Inspire other people with the ways you are working and solving problems.
  5. Create simple solutions. You need to be the spider in the web and create solutions or try to solve the problems. Try to think of simplicity in whatever you are doing.
  6. Never give up. As a leader you will experience many good and challenging things during your work, but it’s important to be focused on the goal and never give up.
  7. In order to learn we need fail, and that is why it’s so important to acknowledge failure but learn from it. It’s okay to make mistakes and not put all the blame on a single person, but to learn, improve and make things better.
  8. Have healthy team. Both you and your team need to be healthy both mentally and physically in order to perform your best so it’s important that you all take care of yourself.
  9. Be positive. We all like to be surrounded with positive people and as a strong leader you need to stay positive and see the positive even in though situations. By leading with positive mind, people will be more productive and you will get better results.
  10. Trust and be trusted. We all like to be trusted, so that other people believe in us but as a leader you need to trust your team in order to gain trust. By trusting you co-workers you are creating inspiration, motivation, stronger team and you become stronger leader who is leading by example.