Commentary: How Effective Managers Organize Their Time

A few days ago an article called ”How Effective Managers Organize Their Time: 9 Pro Tips From Real HubSpot Managers” was published on HubSpot’s marketing blog. I know, the longest title ever, but I found it highly interesting and even though I’m not a manager per se, I want to give my thoughts on some of the points that were brought up from my perspective.

First of all, click here to read the original article. Take your time, I’ll wait for you.

#1 Email systems

The first point is about one of the most essential routines at work: Reading emails. How do you prioritize your inbox items? The article rightfully states, that different systems work for different people, but the point is that you need to have one.

As for myself, I can’t say that I’m particularly interested in putting too much time and effort into email organizing. I’ve tried inbox zero, tried smart rules to automatically categorize email into folders and setting different flags, etc, but what I found out was that it’s not the email client that I want to focus my productivity on. I know some people practically live in Microsoft Outlook, and it’s really a swiss knife for communication, task and time management and even note-taking. For many working in corporate environments, it’s an indispensable software, but I myself rather use a real task management system that fully accommodates my needs, and strive to simplify the inbox process as much as possible.

My email system

create-email-task

It sounds really important, but I think it can wait until Monday…

When I go through my inbox I will quickly scan the content of the emails, and try to judge how quickly I can ”check them off”. Sometimes emails can be replied to immediately, but other times they might contain actions, or questions that can’t be answered right away, or maybe they have useful information that I’d like to get back to later. In those cases I will create to-do tasks, linking back to the original inbox items, and simultaneously sort them into their respective project, context, dates and time. This way, I’ll move my focus away from the email interface to my centralized task management system where I can easily get an overview of my daily or project-based to-dos.

#2 Getting S*** Done

The article mentions the acronym GSD, or Get Shit Done, which I assume is HubSpot’s hipper version of Getting Things Done (GTD). Actually I’m not entirely sure if they follow the original methodology at all, but it’s a subject that I will be writing more about in the near future, focusing on how I apply it in order to improve my daily productivity. So that’s all I have to say for now.

#6 Physical exercise and #8 Practising gratitude

Two of the points in the list are things that you would not immediately associate with productivity. Well, most people would probably agree that physical activity improves focus and effectiveness, and I myself am guilty of sitting for too long periods at my computer, putting physical exercise at the bottom of my daily priority list. It’s definitely something that I need to work on.

The ”practise gratitude” part is interesting. One of my own productivity hacks is to come up with funny names or absurd copy during creation phases, since it’s easier to get things done when you’re having fun. Things outside of work can easily affect your mood and attitude, so it’s not hard to see that ”artificially” boosting your happiness and morale, by reminding yourself of being thankful for things in your life, can ultimately improve your overall effectiveness.

#9 Productivity tools

Number nine on the list brings up a topic that this blog will cover a lot. I spend a great deal of time evaluating software, and one of the reasons I started this blog was just to share recommendations, insights and opinions related to this.

essential-tools

Knowing when to use what tool is essential. You don’t use a swiss knife to turn screws if you have screw driver.

Final words

I love reading articles like this one, because they add to my own ideas and I always learn something new. Today I focused my commentary on the points that are relevant to me at the moment, but I find myself needing to organize my calendar bookings more and more at work. The things you read today might very well come in handy tomorrow!

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