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I need my team to learn productivity skills so we can do our best work

Years ago, time management was simple. You had a bunch of things to do and you needed to get them all done. So, you listed everything, prioritised them and worked on one thing at a time – usually in a paper planner. It wasn’t that complicated and people found a great sense of accomplishment when they completed their list each day.   

Now, it’s a different world. Technology has made us accessible to people anywhere in the world 24/7 and their demands are non-stop. Everything has urgency attached, so it’s all yelling for our attention at the same time. 

In other words, it’s no longer just about getting it all done (we can’t). It’s about getting the right things done. That means we need to manage our choices instead of our time. 

It’s easiest to empower your team with these skills if you do it with the entire group at once, utilising a process such as that found in FranklinCovey’s The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity® (book and course). Having them experience that type of content together allows them to all learn the same techniques at the same time. They develop a common language to use with each other and learn the best way to work together. 

For example, someone sticks their head in your office and says, “Hey, got a minute?” For one thing, you don’t have a minute. You also know that it will always take at least five to ten minutes every time. But you don’t know how to say “No,” so you say, “Sure, what do you need?” Then you try to look distracted and rushed, and hope they get the hint. They never get the hint.   

Going through the work session together helps them learn how to handle a situation like that, and they’ll be able to utilise it in the future with several options like this: 

“Actually, I do have a minute – but only one minute. If you can wait about an hour, I can give you ten minutes.  I’ll come by your office at 11:30 a.m. Would that work for you?”  This allows you to say “yes” instead of “no.” You’ve rescheduled for a time that actually works for you and you go to their office instead of inviting them back to yours since it’s easier to leave someone else’s office than to get them to leave yours. 

They’ll also learn techniques to manage their choices, such as weekly planning (30 minutes per week), daily planning (10 minutes per day), and time blocking (scheduling appointments for focused work). 

Whatever resource you choose for training, you’ll find the greatest benefit by using it with the entire group at once.  The time you schedule and protect for this experience will be returned many times over in the increased productivity for the entire team.