10 Daily Habits of Highly Productive Leaders

10 Daily Habits of Highly Productive Leaders

If you’re a leader, here are 10 habits that should be a part of every day:

  1. Organize Your Day – One of the first things I do is take a look at my calendar.  What has to be done?  Who am I meeting with?  Where do I have time to put in the things that just pop up during my day?  What needs to be moved to another day?  If you don’t know what’s going on, you won’t be organized with your time.  Take a few minutes every morning to get organized.
  2. Do the hard things first  – Now that you’ve organized yourself, it’s time to start tackling the to-do list.  It is natural for us to begin by doing the things that are easiest and procrastinate on the things that seem to be more difficult.  Those difficult things can include calling that upset customer, having the tough conversation with an employee, writing employee reviews, etc.  But, if you knock those out first, you’ll find you’ll be more productive with everything else.
  3. Delegate tasks – Delegation comes naturally for some people.  But, for the rest of us, if we don’t make it a “to-do” then it won’t get “to-done.”  So, as you’re looking over your day, consider what you can delegate to others.   Oh, and don’t delegate the hard things.  Those are for you, the leader.
  4. Encourage someone – Who is the one person who you can encourage today?  This can be writing a hand written note and mailing it to their home.  Or, send an encouraging email.  The most effective encouragement happens when you encourage someone in front of others.  But, whatever you do, when you encourage, make it specific.  Don’t just simply say thanks for being a good employee/volunteer (although that should be true).  But rather say, I want to thank you for working so hard on X project or I saw how you were so gracious and generous to _________.
  5. Eat Lunch – Ok, this may seem somewhat silly to include on this list, but let me explain.  I’ve been the victim far too many times of not taking a lunch break.  Then, I get cranky, hungry, and unproductive later in the day.  Lunch time is a time for you to re-energize and get re-focused for the rest of the day.  It’s also a great time to treat an employee/client/volunteer and let them know you appreciate them…but don’t do that often or else you’ll lose the re-energizing and re-focusing benefits of the break.
  6. Grow – Every day you should be reading an article, watching a webinar, or talking with a mentor that will help you grow in some way.  Hey, you’re reading this blog, so you can mark it off your list for today.  But, have a daily habit of reading or watching something that will help you get better.
  7. Invest in someone – In addition to encouraging someone daily, you should be investing in someone.  This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to many hours.  Be wise about it.  But identify someone that you can spend some time with in order to get to know them better and help them get better.  Make sure you do this on purpose.  It can even be included as part of a weekly one-on-one meeting…but it must be an intentional part of the meeting.
  8. Look at the results – We can measure just about anything these days.  And every day, you should be looking at the results.  From yesterday, last week, last month, or even last year.  Are you achieving goals?  Are you being productive?  What needs to change?  How can you adjust your sails and get headed in a better direction?  This should happen daily and you should use the results that you see to cause some sort of action on your part.
  9. Set up the next day – Before you go home for the day, you should take a look at the next day.  What do you need to be read for?  What can you knock out quickly before you leave so that you can have an even better day tomorrow?  Don’t let tomorrow surprise you.  Take some time today to set up tomorrow for success.  Great leaders do this and it helps them avoid the fires that come along with being unprepared for what’s ahead.
  10. Go home – Another silly one, I know.  But, leaders tend to work long hours.  Leaders have a workload that never seems to end.  We must be intentional about going home.  Set boundaries around the hours that you’ll work and stick to them knowing that there will be some times when it’s necessary to put in extra hours…but that shouldn’t be the norm.  If work is the only thing you do, it will be the only thing that you have.  Invest in your family and personal time as much as you do in your job – you’ll be happy you did!

What other things do you find yourself doing on a daily basis?  What would you add to this list?  Are there things here that you will add to your daily routine?  Comment below…

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5 thoughts on “10 Daily Habits of Highly Productive Leaders

  1. Abby Snodgrass

    Great article Tim! I really like the idea of doing the hard things first and delegate the easier things. One thing I have implemented with my team is having a 5 minute “stand up” meeting to discuss what we all have going on with our desks for the day. That has helped everyone understand each other’s roles better and how their roles fit together to make the organization run.

    1. The 5 minute meeting is a great idea Abby! I’ve seen those work very well in the past – especially when there’s a moment where recognition and motivation happen every once and a while. Thanks for posting!

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