Being intentional, structured, and more focused about your productivity in relation to managing time effectively.
A lot of Product Managers complain of too much stress and not having enough time to do other important tasks, sometimes this can be due to engaging in lots of meetings, and other activities that may seem urgent but do not largely contribute to the crux of the project.
Doing more of these kinds of work may make you, the Product Manager, overly exhausted and stressed out, leading to low productivity. There is always something to work on as a Product Manager, knowing how to effectively manage your time and prioritize your work will increase your productivity.
Tips to help you focus better
- Delegate Tasks
You should be able to differentiate tasks that are primarily yours and focus on them while delegating other non-priority secondary tasks; using a tool to ensure speed, or passing the task on to a team member. Delegate and follow through to ensure quality and timeliness of the said task.
Many Product Managers get so busy doing a lot of things at the same time, sometimes they engage in work that they are not supposed to be handling. In some organizations, the tasks that no one else wants automatically belongs to the Product Manager.
In situations where you feel very stressed, after spending a large part of your day doing heavy tasks, you can always ask for some time away. Do not take on more than you can handle, it leads to stress-related illnesses, and/or low productivity.
- Stop Having too many Meetings
A lot of meetings we engage ourselves in can actually be emails, slack messages, updates on the work board, etc. We are so accustomed to having numerous meetings (especially with the emergence of the pandemic — *work from home style*), that we think everything has to be deliberated or communicated in a meeting. Sadly, that has been proven to be time and energy-consuming, not just for yourself as the Product Manager, but the whole team.
A lot of these meetings that are set up are honestly not necessary. A report/message can be communicated via email or as a message on slack, or as an update on the workboard. Look at your calendar and fish out those “meetings” that can be “emails” and redirect them to other communication channels, this frees up time for more meaningful work.
- Shorten Meeting Times
If and when you have meetings as a team, try as much as possible to keep to the agenda of the meeting. Try to make that agenda very brief and simple; the specific outcome you want to achieve.
So many times, the reason for elongated meetings is because of a deviation from the main issue at hand. This deviation can also happen in the form of team members settling a dispute, which in turn, extends the meeting time. These kinds of cases should be taken offline and dealt with accordingly.
Fewer people in a meeting means fewer contributions or questions, you can shorten meeting times by inviting fewer participants where possible.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize! This is not just a buzzword, effective prioritization would mean that you are focusing on the most important tasks first, especially when you have a huge ton of tasks to deal with.
Whatever prioritization tool or framework you use, ensure that you are creating an agenda, evaluating tasks, and allocating time and work to bring the most value to the business in a short amount of time. Prioritization should also be flexible, as you may need to interrupt low-priority tasks for urgent to-dos.
In Summary, these tips are very easy and fast ways to increase your productivity as a Product Manager. If and when they are put to practice, you would notice that you will do less and achieve more.
The overall goal is to create methods that make you and your team more effective.