I have a small team that supports me in serving my clients and putting on live events. They’re great, however I find that I waste a lot of time checking in on them, keeping up with their progress, and making sure things get done on time. Consequently, I don’t get as much as I need to get done during the day. How do I change this???
In order to free up more time for yourself and increase productivity both with you and your team, it’s best that you stop micromanaging. A system needs to be implemented that supports you in being able to give your team a little more freedom, allows you to be productive, and keeps you informed on your progress of your projects.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Be clear about expectations
What did you hire each person to do? What exactly are you expecting them to do each day, week, or month? What are the protocols that they are to follow? How will they be held accountable?
Document everything! Go over these documents with whomever you hire so that everyone is on the same page. As things happen or circumstances arise, it will become clear that certain protocols either need to be added to or changed. Make sure to update them regularly.
2. Put everything in writing
This may seem like an extra, unnecessary step. However, putting everything in writing will save a lot of unnecessary headaches. When delegating tasks, especially verbally, it is helpful to get in the habit of also documenting what was shared and the deadlines that were assigned.
To save yourself some time, have your team take notes and email you a copy of what was asked. That way you can verify it and also refer back to it when needed.
Why do this? Because this way both parties are very clear about what needs to be done. And, because it’s in black and white, it eliminates the “you never asked me to do that”, or “I didn’t realize you wanted this done today”, dilemma.
3. Plan check-in times
Your team members need the same respect of their time as you do. It’s counter-productive to be interrupted all the time. As business owners we know this, and we set up boundaries to reduce the number of distractions we have in our day so that we can be more focused and productive. Yet, we’re sometimes guilty of not allowing others to also have boundaries and the freedom to really do a great job.
To both honor your team members’ need for uninterrupted work time and your need to stay on track of your projects’ progress, set up agreed upon check-in times. This could be once a day or once a week. The frequency is up to you and really depends on the types of projects that you’re working on. Whatever you decide, implement it and stick to it.
4. Keep up with progress without direct communication
To take it a step further you can begin using a tool created specifically for managing your team and tracking the progress of projects, all while eliminating back and forth email. If you’re worried about clogging up your inbox or not being able to keep track of everything, a great alternative is using a tool like Asana.
With Asana, you can easily have your team members input their tasks all in one place and you don’t have to search for multiple emails to keep up with it all. In one glance you can see the progress of a project, who has done what, view files and read notes.
You can also easily add new tasks, assign them to a particular person, and set a deadline, all within the same platform. It really makes managing a lot easier and eliminates the need for micromanaging for good.