Robert Herjavec, founder of Herjavec Group
Courtesy of Herjavec Group
By Robert Herjavec
July 28, 2015

Leadership Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What’s your best advice for staying productive at work? is written by Robert Herjavec, founder of Herjavec Group.

Between endless hours spent traveling and the flood of emails we receive daily, it’s easier than ever to get lost in the back and forth. We often focus on the immediate task at hand, forgetting about the end result we are ultimately striving for. It’s up to you to maximize your time, set goals and make them known to your colleagues and customers. By making people aware of your agenda and respecting their time, they will in turn work more efficiently for you.

Plan ahead
If you don’t know what’s coming up on the horizon, it’s easy to lose sight of your goal. Always prepare for what is to come. Look two weeks out to make sure you are aware of fast approaching deadlines. Set aside time to do a full calendar review six months or a year out to make sure you are on track with your yearly goals as well.

Book meetings in close proximity
It’s a rare occasion when I fly across the country for just one meeting. Think about what other clients and customers you could potentially meet with when booking long distance trips. Your time is valuable. Be strategic about what you need to accomplish and how to maximize your commuting time.

Get comfortable with working remotely
I probably spend half my time on a plane. I use this time to catch up on emails. Staying connected to the business while on the road is key. A quick phone call can save a lot of back and forth on email. If you’re typing more than three lines, pick up the phone.

Make it easy for your team to communicate
File sharing, office communicator, remote access and mobile devices allow us all to stay connected in this hyperconnected world. As useful as these tools are for you and your teams, it’s also important not to sacrifice security for convenience. Be aware of the risks associated with corporate information leaving the security of the workplace. Evaluate your firm’s use of cloud storage and file sharing sites to ensure data is protected.

Be present and prepared
Don’t waste the time of others and they won’t waste yours. Before I head into a meeting, conference or speaking engagement I always take time to review and reflect on why I’m attending. What do I want to get out of the meeting? What are people expecting me to provide? When you are focused and present, the people you are interacting with are inclined to do the same.

Read all answers to the Leadership Insider question: What’s your best advice for staying productive at work?

Why you should tackle your toughest tasks before 2 P.M. by Tom Gimbel, CEO of the LaSalle Network.

How can I increase my productivity at work? by David Reese, vice president of people and culture at Medallia.

How planning your day is actually making you less productive by William Craig, founder and president of WebpageFX.

The real reason you can’t focus at work by Sandhya Venkatachalam, co-founder and partner of Centerview Capital.

Want to be more productive? Start understanding your brain by Ryan Smith, CEO and founder of Qualtrics.

3 ways to stay productive while working remotely by Jeff Rodman, co-founder of Polycom.

This CEO says you should work less to be more productive by Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge.

The biggest career lesson this Navy SEAL learned in Iraq by Chris Fussell, chief growth officer at McChrystal Group.

Here’s how to keep your employees happy (and productive)by Michael Keoni DeFranco, founder and CEO of Lua.

9 things you can do every day to be more productive by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.

How managers are killing the productivity of their employees by Todd McKinnon, co-founder and CEO of Okta.

Warby Parker’s Co-CEO: Why it’s okay to say ‘no’ to your boss by Dave Gilboa, co-CEO of Warby Parker.

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