When you are a manager of a large team, it can be challenging to stay on task. With the continual interruptions and questions from your team, being able to focus is out the window! I have been there. In my former career, I was the manager of a large team, and it seemed that my work day began once they all left in the evening. It was hard to find peace and quiet to work on my personal tasks during the workday. Over the years, I have learned ways to stay on task while supporting my team and today I am sharing them with you!

Create a Pop-in Schedule

Being a social butterfly myself, I can’t blame my team for constantly popping into my office to see how I was or what my plans were for the weekend. I found that I spent more time trying to figure out where I left off on my tasks than actually working on them. So, I created a pop-in schedule where my team could come to my office unannounced to chat about anything they’d like. As a leader, it is important to remain available, but you also need to set boundaries so that your productivity stays up.

Here is what a pop-in schedule might look like:

  • 7:45 am – 8:15 am – Come on in!
  • 8:14 am – 11 am – Do not disturb, please.
  • 11 am – 1 pm – Come on in!
  • 1 pm – 3 pm – Do not disturb, please.
  • 3 pm – 5 pm – Come on in!

Depending on the field of work you are in, this schedule might not work for you. Also, don’t forget to tell your team that if you are in DND mode, that they can always email you and you will get back to them as soon as you can.

Blame It On The Due Date

If you are continually getting interrupted, blame it on the due date. Here is what I mean; when someone walks into your office to chat you simply say to them, “oh my gosh I would love to hear this story, but I have a major deadline today. Let’s talk about this over lunch okay?” It gets you off the hook of having a 30-minute conversation about what John did at CrossFit last night and back on task! Plus, you are not the bad guy because you have a deadline to meet.

Utilize Lunch Time

When you have the opportunity to eat lunch with your team do it! Not only does it create a bonding experience, but it also is a great time to hear all of the stories that otherwise would have interrupted your work day. Lunchtime is the time to chat about the latest celebrity gossip, what you are going for vacation, or what TV series you are watching. During lunchtime, you can create a fun atmosphere with your team as well as be proactive. Yes, that’s right. Eating lunch with your team is also a great time to throw around ideas and talk about any arising problems. It’s amazing how sitting around a table with food can bring people together!

Respect your own time

In order to stay on task and be the boss, you need to learn to respect your own time. If you have to set a little timer to remind yourself to take a break and clear your head or to get back to the hustle, then do it! Every second of your work day should be a purposeful, strategic one. Make a priority list of things that you have to get done that day no matter what. As the boss, you are pulled in so many directions. It’s okay to tell someone you will get back to their question or conversation as soon as you have a free moment.

If you feel like you are too busy putting out fires all day with your team to be able to stay on task, I can help you. I specialize in productivity and how to utilize not only your time but your team’s time wisely. Contact me today and let’s see how we can get you back on task while remaining an available manager. You are at your job 40 hours a week, let me help you organize your time and put every second to great use.


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