He discovered one weird technique to save time as a Product Manager. Stakeholders hate him!
Today I want to tell you that sometimes to get stuff done, you don’t need to do anything. The things tend to resolve on their own!
😲 The Product Manager has more to get done than many other managers. It is simply not possible to complete every task that ends up on our To-Do Lists, email, or from any other source.
💪 We have to prioritize and focus on the most important work that we can do in the finite time we have. However, that doesn’t mean that the tasks that you have not picked up, won’t get done. Things happen and people need things done. Thus, you can develop a unique instinct to tell whether things actually need your attention or they only appear as they do. I’m not telling you the neglect your work! I’m just helping you to focus on what’s really important.
👻 What is critical one day may be close to forgettable the very next day. Thus, don’t even try to reply to each message, urgent request, or email if it is below a certain threshold of urgency. Just let it cool off. Reply in a day or two, maybe a week. If there is no follow-up within that time, you already know that the thing is not as urgent as originally proclaimed to be.
✔️ Sometimes you will simply discover that while you were waiting, the thing got resolved on its own: bug stopped appearing, someone else answered the question or the request is no longer relevant because more important challenges appeared. This way you have created time for yourself to work on your real priorities!
❔ Another technique you can try is to ask a lot of sensible questions about the request:
❓ Why is the request there?
❓ What’s the ultimate goal?
❓ What problem do you want to solve?
❓ What was already done in this regard?
❓ Who is involved?
❓ Who will benefit?
When you know more, you can put things into better perspective and context and give more meaningful feedback or rejection.
🔍 Next, make sure that people know you don’t need to sign off on every small detail. Your team needs to know that they have the freedom to make the choices in their respective fields. For example, your UX designer can make the call on the size of the button. He/she knows better than you! Why would you have to spend the time on a meeting just to discuss it? Let the experts take care of it. I have a full class on that in my Udemy PM course under the title: “Delegation”.
👍 Don’t worry if you won’t take this right the first time or even the first year. It’s a skill hard to learn and no one ever fully masters it. Thus, it’s OK to say sorry if you misjudged a request’s or a task’s priority. You will get better at that in time, I promise!
Have a great weekend everyone and good luck developing your products and product management career!
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