No matter how hard you and your team members work to stay on top of your responsibilities, your workflow will be inefficient and disorganized without a system to help you prioritize. Urgent tasks may get buried under the pile, leaving everyone scrambling to get them done and risk missing deadlines.
An effective work schedule can help you and your team streamline your process and ensure maximum productivity. Today, we’ll be giving you some helpful tips you can use to build a work schedule that will help your team make the most out of their day. Ready to get started?
Tip #1 - Involve Your Team
You are obviously not the one doing every single thing in your company. As the ones performing and executing tasks, your team members can more accurately gauge how long it will take them to complete a certain task. Involve them in your schedule creation process so that you can set more feasible deadlines and expectations, which helps both your team and your clients!
You don’t want to be the boss who sets unrealistic deadlines, pressuring your team to produce output that may be of subpar quality. A collaborative planning process also helps you assess whether your employees can handle their current workload or they need some tasks to be reassigned.
Tip #2: Establish a Naming Convention
Your work schedule will be at its most effective when you can label all of your upcoming deliverables well. Try to come up with a labeling system that is concise and easy to understand so that everyone picks it up quickly and can apply it consistently.
Remember, your work schedule shouldn’t look like a personal to-do list. You want it to be a useful reference material for all your staff. Include pertinent information like the deadlines, task resources, subtasks, etcetera. You could even create a prioritization system to help you rank tasks based on difficulty and urgency.
Tip #3: Create a System for Time-Off Requests
No matter how perfect your work schedule is, deviations may happen. After all, your team members are human—there will be times when they may be unable to come in for work or ask for time off.
The perfect schedule, then, is not one that’s rigid, but one flexible enough to work around disruptions. Come up with a system or some house rules that will come into play whenever someone has to request a leave. Make sure to clearly state when they can and cannot request a leave, as well as how far in advance they need to file their request.
You should also make contingency plans in case of unexpected absences, such as illness or family emergencies. Have a system in place for redelegating tasks and supporting your team when there is an urgent deadline.
Tip #4: Pencil In “No Meeting” Days
Last but not least, you can also try designating some days as “no meeting” days. Why? To give your team members more dedicated time for accomplishing their tasks!
No matter how productive and necessary team meetings are, they are still disruptions to your team’s day-to-day activities. Instead of constantly pulling them away from work, these no-meeting days allow them to work continuously and get into a rhythm. If your meetings occur regularly, this also gives them time to prepare for meetings in advance in case they have anything to report on or have concerns they want to raise.
The Final Word
Your work schedule is essential to the overall success of your company. We hope you apply some—or all—of our tips to create a schedule that will boost your team’s productivity. Good luck, and expect more blog posts like this from TopVA!