There certainly can be strength in numbers. But working as a group doesn’t mean everyone’s always on the same wavelength.
Whether you’re a manager or team member, you’ve probably felt the domino effect — when one person doesn’t handle their time and attention well, it derails the whole team’s productivity.Learn a few productivity tips that make group projects run smoother, keep headaches at bay, boost camaraderie and minimize grouchiness.
In a world where project plans often change, clear communication binds everyone together in beautiful, synergistic harmony. And no matter your role, you’re obligated to help keep the conversational lines open for business.
How can you make sure everyone hears your message? Communicate goals and methods to your team across multiple channels. Use communication tools effectively, like meetings to solve problems, status reports to keep people informed, project plans to gain buy-in and share broad goals, emails for reviews, and messaging apps for quick needs.
Remember that coworkers need reminders. Create space for clarifying questions so that things get done the right way. Sometimes you have to dive in without enough information, but the more you’re able to know or convey upfront, the better.
Feel like meetings devour all your time? You could be bored with them, on information overload … or tired of how often they interrupt your workflow. To create and complete group projects, you can’t do without meetings, but you can do them better.
How to make your meetings more efficient:
You’re smart and talented. You can do a lot of things, but it doesn’t mean you should do all of them. Know when to delegate tasks to other group members. The elementary rules of “sharing is caring” and “there’s no ‘i’ in team” apply here.
Do you really need to be on that phone call? In every meeting? Planning the details of an event all by yourself?
Part of being efficient is knowing when — and whom — to ask for help. It’s not about lacking the skills. It’s about lacking the time and attention. Keep your schedule less chaotic so you can focus on your most important things. Empower others to solve problems.
On the flipside — if your load feels light, ask your coworkers what you can do to help.
If you’re not managing a project and there’s anything you can prepare ahead of an important meeting or presentation, get your stuff together the day before. Remember that domino effect? Your team members will thank you.
Plus, working closely with others can be enjoyable, right? Remember that you’re all humans — not machines. Poke fun at each other’s idiosyncrasies, plan a group happy hour and simply ask: “How are you?”
With these productivity tips now on your radar, evaluate how your current projects are going. How can you and your team improve? Facilitate a process for efficient collaboration and communication, and you’ll not only survive group projects — you’ll thrive, too.