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8 strategies to be more productive at work

Ravi Razdan, Head – Systems and HR, Jyothy Laboratories Ltd, on efficient ways to enhance your work performance.

Straddling the worlds of HR and IT at Jyothy Laboratories Ltd, Ravi Razdan is in a unique position to drive business growth by leveraging the power of technology as well as the human mind. As IT head, Ravi looks after the entire group’s IT setup, including infrastructure, applications, etc. Here, he tells us about simple, yet effective strategies that ensure the tasks at hand are completed within the set timelines.

1. Task management is key
“We work typically on projects; any small or big assignment is treated as a project. So we set project milestones, with specific dates, even if they are small projects. These milestones are defined targets that the team works towards. We use these milestones to assess how a project is faring. All projects are business driven at the end of the day, so a schedule is important and rescheduling is sometimes necessary to prioritise the big impact projects. Therefore, task management plays an important role in maintaining productivity.”

2. Monitor projects on a weekly basis
“These don’t always happen daily, so it’s more of a weekly schedule. Monitor the status of various projects through weekly reports. This way you can see in one glance how all the projects are doing. Are they meeting their defined milestones? Is anything going out of hand? Are there delays? This way you can take corrective action if required or pre-empt potential problems.”

3. Time management is important
“Plan your day in a structured manner. We usually have review meetings in the morning so everyone is up-to-date and the team knows what it must accomplish. The second half is focused on deliveries. Allocate time for each review, and stick to its timelines. Organise or schedule your day in such a way that you finish the allotted work and leave office on time with the feeling of accomplishment. Focus on finishing an important chunk of the work by a certain time so that you aren’t stressed out about it. This way you’re able to find a good balance at work.”

4. Don’t lose focus by targeting multiple tasks
“At any given point in time there are multiple projects. From a business point of view everything is important and needs to be done as quickly as possible. So, we narrow down on two big tasks for the day and divide up the day accordingly. We are clear about what needs to be accomplished in the day. This way, the team can focus their energies and not get distracted by doing too many things at one time. Sometimes, if necessary, we take a call to devote our entire day to just one project, hence focus on one task, complete it and then move on to the next. I believe that when you work on too many things you lose focus, and that is counterproductive. However, from a team’s point of view we’re always working on multiple projects.”

5. Delegate responsibilities clearly
“A good leader is one who provides the team with a clear vision, provides a framework, assigns right tasks to the right individuals, and then gives them space to execute. At work we float an idea at a broad level, have discussions on how to execute it, and come up with a way that everyone feels is the best. Then everyone works in their own way within that framework. Having that initial, clear structure is important so that the boundaries are defined and there are less chances of error and confusion.”

6. Avoid micro-managing
“This is especially important when you’re at an executive level. You need some time apart to look at the broader picture, to define the long-term road map for the organisation. This can only happen if you stop micro-managing and set aside time. If you give your team the right framework and vision and freedom to execute, they will do wonders. You do not need to control every aspect of it. Free yourself to broaden your thinking and consider the larger picture.”

7. Listen to your team
“A good leader needs to be a good listener. Communication is always a two-way street. Leaders should make it a point to be available to listen to their team. Sometimes you must lead from the front. If the team is facing a problem with a project or task, you need to get together and try to find solution. It helps the team that you are there to guide them and tide over the issues. This creates a great work environment and reflects on the team’s productivity”

8. Set aside time for family
“Family time is very, very important for all individuals. Only if you have a good balance of work and family life will you be happy at work. The happier you are at work, the more productive you are.” 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz

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