How to get 25 hours in a day as a product manager?
Productivity is a superpower for product managers to deliver maximum impact — here’s how they do it.
In last 10 months, we spoke to 200 product managers around the world and one of the biggest challenge in product management is to manage too many stakeholders, context switching and living in ambiguity.
Well, this is usually part of the Job Description so really can’t complain.
But we tried analysing how “successful and happy” PMs managed their time and stakeholders better and here’s what we found:
- Create structure for product feedback
- Have an objective method to evaluate/prioritize
- Keep your roadmap (& updates ) visible
- Block “focus time” on your calendar
- Learn to say “No”
1. Create structure for product feedback
If you have your feedbacks coming in long paragraphs over email, Slack and support tickets — you are guaranteed to spend 100s of hours to process those. How about creating a format to capture such feedback.
Here’s one you can think for your customer facing teams:
- Customer name ( existing customer or prospect )
- Current revenue or deal size
- Detailed use case
This not only helps you process these insights but also makes your support/sales team on the prioritisation of the feature.
Pro tip: There are lot of tools in modern product roadmapping tool which can automate this.
2. Have an objective method to evaluate/prioritize
If you put a new yardstick to prioritise feature, you’d end up spending lot of time and back and forth between different stakeholders ( Engg, Design, Business stakeholders etc.)
Doesn’t matter if you use framework as simple as Impact/effort, MoSCoW or, as detailed as RICE, Value delivery — it comes down to picking one and sticking to it.
It will not only save you lot of time but also bring lot of confidence/structure for the stakeholders.
3. Keep your roadmap (& updates ) visible
Doesn’t matter if you do it on a Spreadsheet, Notion, or using any other sophisticated product planning tool — but if your stakeholders have to ask about “when we are shipping Slack integration” or “if mocks are ready and reviewed” — you sure to spend lot of time in “Project management” instead of doing actual product management work.
Make sure you have your roadmap for current and next quarter visible and comprehensible — Create a really good visibility of what are you shipping, when & why.
No, JIRA board won’t cut it. You need to create something more easier and personalised for them to comprehend.
Pro tip: Your roadmap will look different for your leadership, dev team, customer facing team and, customers. Be careful in sharing what’s needed to avoid overwhelming them.
4. Block “focus time” on your calendar
If you are a good PM, your stakeholders will keep coming to you to discuss new ideas, unblocking execution challenges etc.. Make sure you have some time blocked in your calendar just for yourself.
I have 5–6 such slots blocked on my calendar from 30mins to 3 hours. Ex. 30 min every Monday to look at key metrics. 2 hour Every Tuesday 4–6 to finish PRD documentation and so on..
5. Learn to say “No”
In product management, “No” is better than “Maybe”. It is such a simple yet magical solution to save time and bring clarity; that no one uses.
I have seen product manager sitting on a problem for long, taking forever to make a decision. In my experience, if your prioritization approach is clear, you should be able to take a decision quickly.
Not clear on the impact? work with business team to get it in place. Think of a rough estimate and prioritize based on that. If not, let engineering take a call on that — quickly.
Remember, no one knows better than “you”, so take a call and move on.
While most of these point will sound obvious, it’s less about knowing and more about following — so consider this a revision and see which ones of these you did today.
If you think we missed your product management lifehack to become more productive, feel free to add it in the comments.
What is Weekday HQ?
As a PM for over a decade, we are frustrated with inefficiencies in product management (unstructured product insights, ambiguous prioritization and followups).
We are trying to solve it by creating an efficient, easy to follow processes/workflow — powered with intelligent automations.
👉🏻 Join us in our mission by answering these 3 simple questions. 6,000+ PMs joined over last few months.
See you on the other side.