Whether at the office or in these times of working remote, we could all do with a boost in team productivity. It helps to reach your goals quicker, waste less time getting the job done and solve problems efficiently. But team productivity is about more than cooperating well together. It’s about communication, taking care of each other and developing your unique fortes. We asked Muriel Sival, colleague and founder of SupergroverPA, to bring together our tried-and-proven tips and tricks that will help you improve your personal productivity and boost the productivity of your team.

Schedule creative meetings in the morning

In the morning your creative brain is still fresh and you have more focus. It works like Brian Tracey’s “Eat that Frog” principle: start your day with what costs the most energy. Although Tracey focuses on starting your day with the least enjoyable tasks, it just as much works for tasks and meetings that call on your creativity. Of course there are people who are more creative at night, but most people tend to have the most energy in the morning to think or be creative.

Make lists

As David Allen, author of Getting Things Done says, “Your head is for getting ideas, not holding them.” Therefore, write down all your tasks and ideas so that they do not get stuck in your head. By doing this you ensure more control and focus in your work. As a team, take the time to write down all actions and matters after a long meeting and to link them to clear follow-up actions. This way everyone knows what to do afterwards.

Make agreements and express expectations

If you need input from one of your team members, provide a clear briefing. Agree upon a date and time when you need that design, wireframe, storyboard or blog by checking what is feasible for the other person. By coordinating and recording this together, you will not be faced with surprises.

Schedule routine tasks when you have lower energy

Work out tasks with clear goals and processes, answer your emails and do other work that requires little thought. This also applies to team efforts. When you are high in your energy, you can make a nice overview of the tasks you can do during low-energy times. This way you can get started right away when your energy drops.

Don't make assumptions

A successful team communicates with each other. Now that we work more remotely, clear communication is more important than ever. Ask each other what you are doing and check whether your colleague has understood that one briefing correctly. If you don’t, you will keep guessing.

Give each other open and honest feedback

By being open to honest feedback, you build trust between your team members. It creates a safe environment that benefits not only your team, but also projects. It is important that you give each other specific feedback with concrete examples. Agree on rules for this, such as sharing three tops and three tips after a meeting.

Does it take a maximum of 5 minutes? Deal with it right away!

Leaving a comment on an email? Requesting an explanation of a task you have been given? If it takes a maximum of 5 minutes, it is better to deal with it immediately, even if it concerns a team effort. In David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ method, it becomes clear that it is better for your productivity to handle tasks that take a few minutes immediately, because it takes more time when you have to come back to them later (together). It makes you and your team a lot more effective and saves adding new actions on your to-do list.

Coach each other

If one of your team members gets handed a task after a meeting, offer as a team that he or she can always ask for help from you or someone else if needed. Whether you have the expertise or not, it is all about helping each other where necessary and that team members feel that there’s room for asking questions. The idea is: we got each other’s back.

Focus on development

Make sure your team has the opportunity to develop (individual) talents and skills. Think of training for certain tools, attending a webinar or workshop or reading a book about effective communication. By sharpening the knowledge and skills of your team members, the team as a whole benefits.

Do fun things together that aren’t work related

Team productivity largely depends on the connection between your team members. Do you share a certain passion as a team? Make use of it! Do something fun together outside of work, such as an (online) drink, games or visit a (work-related) event when conditions allow us to come together again.

Take care of each other and yourself

Show interest, gauge someone’s need, and offer help. Tune into how someone is doing on a personal level every now and then. Think about a pre- or after weekend talk: a great way to start and end the week together. The most important part is that you’re there for each other and take the time to understand what makes everyone happy. That way, everyone can get the best out of themselves at work.

Need more hours in a day? Book a meeting with Muriel for productivity tips and her PA services.

SupergroverPA is a super-mulitasker, experienced in international working environments in jobs related to customer focus & service, marketing and communications. She is engaged in supporting her customers in practical, mental and administrative areas, so that they become more effective.