3 Ways IT Managers Can Become More Productive

by drjim on October 23, 2014

Productivity is how IT managers get more done

Productivity is how IT managers get more done
Image Credit
Image Credit

Time, time, time. If only we all had more of it! As an IT manager the day can get away from us early on and we’ll never have a chance to get it back. None of us have the IT manager skills that are needed to prevent this from happening. What we really need are some tips on how we can get more time during the day so that we can get more done. It turns out that there are ways that we can reclaim our day, we just need to know how to go looking for them.

Start The Day With More Energy

I am a firm believer that how your day starts off is a good indicator about how the day is going to turn out. All too often I believe that when we roll out of bed in the morning we start the day out feeling tired and it never get any better for us.

What we need is a way to start the day off on the right foot. Sorry, this is not the kind of thing that gets covered in IT manager training. It turns out that for many of us the reason that our day is starting off on a low note is because when we get up we have low blood sugar. The good news about this is that there is something that you can do about it.

In order to prevent yourself from starting the day off feeling tired and worn down, you need to take steps before you go to bed to prevent this from happening. Before you call it a day, take a tablespoon or two of unsweetened almond butter. By doing this you’ll stabilize your blood sugar and you’ll be able to start the next day off on the right foot.

Double Your Reading Speed

Even in this audio / video age in which we are currently living, the written word is how a lot of information get communicated to us. This means that we spend a big part of everyday reading. If only there was a good way for us to speed that process up.

It turns out that there is. The secret to becoming a faster reader is to have a better understanding of how your eyes work. What you need to realize is that you actually have very good peripheral vision and you’ve not been using it when you’ve been reading.

In order to boost your reading time, start to read sentences about three words in from the left hand margin. and stop reading when you get within three words of the end of the line. Your peripheral vision will take care of reading the edges and you’ll discover your reading speed increasing dramatically.

Actually Clean Out Your Email Inbox

If there is one thing that I just can’t stand it’s when my email inbox become unmanageable. This seems to be a problem that IT managers just can’t overcome. In order to deal with this problem, you need to find a way to convince people to send you fewer emails.

One of the clever tools that I’ve discovered is called the three line response. Limit all of your email responses to no more than three lines in length. This may come across as curt or brief to some people that you communicate with, but it will free up your time and people will quickly stop expecting long wordy responses from you.

What All Of This Means For You

You said that you wanted to have more time. Now that I’ve told you how you can make this happen, are you brave enough to give my suggestions a try? If you really want to have more time, then you will.

Every day starts off either good or bad. You can make it start better by taking action the night before. Reading is something that we all do all day. If you follow my tip then you’ll be able to get your reading done faster and get on to other things. Finally, here in the 21st Century we still communicate by email every day. Use my tip to clean out your inbox and you’ll be on top of your email instead of buried underneath it.

We will probably never have enough time to get everything that we need to get done, done. Add in the time that IT team building takes and we can get even farther behind. However, by following these three simple tips we can end up with more time than we have today. The question that you need to be asking yourself now is what will I do with all of this extra time?

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What would be a good way to get people to stop sending you so many emails that require a response?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental IT Leader Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Having an IT team report to you is a great complement – the company believes that you can lead them to success. However, in order to get your team to accomplish the things that you want them to do, you are going to have to first motivate them to take action. This motivation thing can be tricky, who among us really knows how to go about doing it? Looks like this is one more of the IT manager skills that we all need to master.

{ 0 comments }

When A CIO hires someone, they want to do it correctly

When A CIO hires someone, they want to do it correctly
Image Credit

IT Managers realize that your success rests firmly on the shoulders of those people who are on your team. What this means is that the process of hiring someone is one of your a critical IT manager skills. Hire the right person and you’ll move forward, hire the wrong person and you may stumble or even be asked to leave the firm. How can you go about doing this correctly?

Interview People, Of Course

In all honesty, the interview is the least effective way of finding out if a candidate is the right person for a job. The reason for this is that, of course, they are on their best behavior during the interview. If they are good at hiding their flaws then you’ll never be able to detect it during the short time that you sit and talk with them. There is nothing in our IT manager training that will allow us to get more out of an interview.

All too often we end up making our hiring decisions based on our human judgment. The problem with this is that all too often, we’re wrong. There can be a number of different reasons for this, but the biggest one that I’ve found is that when I meet someone new I end up mapping them to someone that I already know. This can end up hiding a lot of the new person’s faults.

Considering how important this new person is going to be to your career, you’d really like to have a chance to get inside of their head. However, during an interview all you have to go on is what they chose to put on their resume. In the end, you just can’t find out what you need to know about the person during an interview.

Simulate The Job

A much better way to determine if someone is the right person for the job is to have them actually do the job. There is no other way that a faker will be exposed than to ask them to actually perform the work that you are thinking about hiring them to do.

Let the candidate know what issues your IT team is currently facing and then let them simulate performing the job that you are hiring for. We are not talking about something that can be accomplished in 30 minutes. Rather we are talking about something that is going to take from 8-40 hours to complete. Yes, that’s an investment, but considering how important finding the right person is I think that it’s worth it.

Ultimately, you’re going to walk away from this exercise with a better feel for if this person is the right person for the job. The flip side is that they will also have a much better understanding of what the job is going to entail. If it turns out that they no longer want the job, then they will have saved both of you a lot of pain and suffering by walking away.

Check Out Off-List References

References are something that I believe are a very important part of the hiring process. However, in this day and age I don’t think that we spend enough time checking them out. Most resumes have between one and three references listed on them; however, these are generally useless.

The reason that they are useless is because the candidate has already talked with these people and gotten them to agree to say only nice things about him or her. In order to determine what type of person your candidate really is, you are going to have to dig deeper.

This means that you are going to have to find and talk with off-list references. This means that you are going to want to find other people who have worked with this person and get their real impressions of them. Use your network of friends and associates to find these people. This way when you find them, they’ll feel obligated to provide you with an honest assessment of your candidate.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

No matter how well you understand IT team building, that’s not what is going to make you a successful IT Manager. Instead, it’s the quality of the team that you are able to build that is going to determine your eventual success as an IT manager. This means that you need to learn how to pick the right people.

In order to fully evaluate the candidate for a job, you will, of course, need to start out by conducting a traditional interview. Next you’ll want to provide the candidate with an opportunity to actually perform the job. Finally, take the time to check out references that they didn’t provide you with.

There’s no doubt that you can be successful as an IT manager. However, you’re going to have to master the art of hiring the right people. In order to do this you’ll need to learn how to use these three tips to make sure that you invite the right people to join your team.

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: When a job candidate is performing a job, what should you be looking for?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental IT Leader Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Time, time, time. If only we all had more of it! As an IT manager the day can get away from us early on and we’ll never have a chance to get it back. None of us have the IT manager skills that are needed to prevent this from happening. What we really need are some tips on how we can get more time during the day so that we can get more done. It turns out that there are ways that we can reclaim our day, we just need to know how to go looking for them.

{ 0 comments }

How Can IT Managers Prevent Their Team Members From Burning Out?

October 9, 2014

Isn’t it the dream of every IT manager to have the IT manager skills to create a fully committed team? A team that understands what you are trying to accomplish as a team, has fully bought in to that dream, and is aggressively working to achieve your goals? It turns out that there is a […]

Read the full article →

New Book: IT Manager Career Secrets

October 4, 2014

You are the only one who is in charge of your IT manger career — do you know what to do? Get the book that tells you how to do this: Paperback, Kindle, or Audiobook Download:

Read the full article →

Why RITA Is What IT Managers Should Be Doing To Build Better Teams

October 2, 2014

As an IT manager you have always be looking for people that you would like to add to your team. However, once you’ve used you IT manager skills to find them, convinced them to join your team, and actually gotten then on board, what should your next step be? It turns out that the answer […]

Read the full article →

New Book: Team Building Strategies for IT Managers

September 28, 2014

What You’ll Find Inside: HOW CAN AN IT LEADER CHANGE AN ENGINEER INTO A TEAM PLAYER? AN IT MANAGEMENT NIGHTMARE: MANAGING TROPHY KIDS CHEAP & EASY IT MANAGEMENT: HOW TO USE SOCIAL-NETWORK ANALYSIS TO BOOST TEAM PERFORMANCE GOOGLE’S LESSONS FOR MANAGING TECH-SAVVY TEAMS

Read the full article →

5 Ways IT Managers Can Make Innovation Happen On Their IT Teams

September 25, 2014

“More innovation, please!” This is what IT managers have been hearing on a daily basis for the past few years. I think that we all understand why we’re being asked to help out, everyone believes that we have the IT manager skills that are needed to make this happen and they believe that we’ve had […]

Read the full article →

Why IT Managers Need To Build Teams That All Generations Want To Work On

September 18, 2014

IT managers dread the day that they have to manage certain generations – we don’t have the IT manager skills to deal with this situation. Whatever generation the IT manager belongs to should be easy to manage – they know how that generation thinks. It’s all the other generations that cause the problems. However, it […]

Read the full article →

How IT Managers Can Deal With Bad Bosses

September 11, 2014

In a perfect world, we’d all work for the best boss ever. They would provide us with the support and resources that we needed to do our job and they’d always have time to talk with us about whatever happened to be on our minds. The reality of the world is that all too often […]

Read the full article →

What IT Managers Need To Know About Job Opportunities In The Federal Sector

September 10, 2014

One of the responsibilities that we have as IT managers is to teach others about where they can find good jobs — IT jobs and others. As kids go back to college this fall, it’s the perfect time to open their eyes to the job opportunities in the federal sector. We all know how hard […]

Read the full article →