Our Favorite Management Tips from 2019


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‘Tis the season for “best of” lists, so we looked back at our year in Management Tip of the Day newsletters to share some of our favorite quick and practical pieces of work advice. Here’s [the first two of] our top 10.

Is there a tip or other advice we published this year that changed the way you think about work? Or an article that you found especially useful? We’d love to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.


Don’t Just Have a To-Do List — Timebox It

The only thing worse than having a long to-do list is not knowing how you’re going to get everything done. Timeboxing can help: It’s a way of converting your to-do list into blocks of time on your calendar, so you have a plan for what to do and when.

Start by looking at your to-do list and figuring out each task’s deadlines. For example, if a promotional video has to go live on a Tuesday, and the production team needs 72 hours to incorporate your edits, then put a hold on your calendar at least 72 hours before Tuesday. Repeat for each item on your to-do list.

If you work on a team where people can see one another’s calendars, timeboxing has the added benefit of showing people that the work will get done on time.

But the biggest advantage of timeboxing might be that it gives you a feeling of control over your calendar — which can help you feel happier at work.

Adapted from “How Timeboxing Works and Why It Will Make You More Productive,” by Marc Zao-Sanders


Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

To make good decisions, it’s important to think critically. And, yet, too many leaders accept the first solution proposed to them or don’t take the time to evaluate a topic from all sides. To guard against these mistakes, there are several things you can do to hone your critical thinking skills.

First, question your assumptions, especially when the stakes are high. If you’re coming up with a new business strategy, for example, ask: Why is this the best way forward? What does the research say about our expectations for the future of the market?

Second, poke at the logic. When evaluating arguments, consider if the evidence builds on itself to produce a sound conclusion. Is the logic supported by data at each point?

Third, seek out fresh perspectives. It’s tempting to rely on your inner circle to help you think through these questions but that won’t be productive if they all look and think like you.

Get outside your bubble and ask different people to question and challenge your logic.

Adapted from “3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Critical Thinking,” by Helen Lee Bouygues

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