March 12


How Leaders Can Boost Productivity Using AI

By Sara Canaday

March 12, 2024

ai, ai tools for work, artificial intelligence, business leaders, leadership, leadership development, leadership skills, professional development

Leaders today are constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance both individual and team productivity. Thankfully, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful ally, offering tools and insights that can transform the way leaders and their teams operate.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you might use AI to boost your productivity:

Map, Assign, and Track Your Projects

ChatGPT can serve as the initial catalyst for your project mapping and organization. It can help you meticulously consider every facet of a project and then provide you with a roadmap for enhanced tracking, task assignment, and key milestones.

Imagine you work in a sales role, but you’ve been asked to plan a marketing campaign for an upcoming project. Recognizing this is not your area of expertise, you want to make the best use of your time to figure out how to proceed. You could spend hours researching marketing campaign best practices online—or you could streamline the process using AI. You might ask ChatGPT something like this:

“I need a step-by-step guide on how to develop and execute a successful marketing campaign, including any important principles and components to include. I want to create a detailed outline as a template I can share with my team. This will prompt me to maintain the proper focus, identify key tasks, assign owners, set milestones, and note any dependencies between tasks. My goal is to ensure a smooth workflow and timely completion of the campaign.”

(I’ve posted the output, in chart form, from this prompt in the chat below.)

Once you have the detailed outline, you can then ask ChatGPT to use this information to create a chart in Microsoft Project, Google Sheets, or Excel. That will allow you to input data and generate an at-a-glance visual representation of the project for team collaboration. The idea is to keep the campaign details front and center, track assignments, and highlight milestones and deadlines.

Dramatically Upgrade Your Project Management

While ChatGPT excels in developing substantive outlines for project management, tools like and Trello can take it to the next level. These platforms provide a more dynamic representation of a project, including timelines, due-date reminders, task dependencies, and overall project health. They also offer comprehensive dashboards, integrated document management, and advanced reporting features that are essential for complex projects. By combining these tools with ChatGPT, you can create comprehensive systems that enhance individual and team productivity.

Maximize the Impact of Your Meetings

A distinct yet equally critical area where AI can significantly impact productivity is in meeting optimization. The traditional approach to scheduling and conducting meetings often overlooks the potential for efficiency gains, but AI introduces a transformative approach to this aspect of business operations.

First of all, AI tools such as Clockwise or can analyze calendars and schedules across your team to identify optimal times for meetings, ensuring minimal disruption to daily workflows. This capability is invaluable for coordinating across diverse teams and time zones, ensuring that meetings are both timely and inclusive.

Second, you can use AI to enhance the productivity of meetings themselves with tools like and Microsoft Teams. These collaboration apps offer features such as transcribing conversations, capturing meeting minutes, and emphasizing accountability for meeting outcomes and action items. By leveraging AI, you can make sure your meetings aren’t just discussions, but productive sessions that lead to profitable outcomes.

Accelerate Routine Tasks

Let’s say your job involves summarizing complex contracts and identifying any potential concerns for the parties involved. ChatGPT can do the heavy lifting for both of those tasks. After removing any content that could put your company at risk in terms of intellectual property or competitive advantages, you might paste the contract into ChatGPT and give it the following prompt:

“Summarize this contract into 3 easy-to-understand paragraphs. Then highlight any places within the contract that represent potential concerns for legal liability and equity, as well as any wording that deviates from standard practices in this industry.”

Generate Fresh Ideas

Since your days are likely consumed with deliverables and deadlines, you might struggle to find the time (and mental bandwidth) to brainstorm for creative ideas. This is another area in which ChatGPT can increase your productivity. Here are a few examples.

  • You are an experienced event planner with a history of producing exceptional and well- attended events. However, you want to come up with some more innovative approaches. Sample prompt: Come up with 10 unusual ideas for hosting a meetup for employees who work remotely, but would benefit from connecting with colleagues who live within a 30-mile radius.”
  • You are a marketing manager for a credit union in a small community. Your company offers a fairly intuitive mobile app, but your clients seem to resist using it for their transactions. Sample prompt: “Our credit union customers have resisted using our mobile app, but we want to convince them of its value and change their behaviors. What are the best ways to educate and influence them to make that shift?”

Do you have additional suggestions for how to use AI as a productivity booster? I’d love to hear about them!

Until next time,

Sara Canaday

About the author

Sara began her journey working full-time while she earned an MBA. As she climbed the ladder of corporate America, she repeatedly observed a surprising phenomenon: the most successful people weren’t necessarily the ones with the highest IQ or best job skills. She recognized instead that career advancement was much more closely linked with how people applied their knowledge and talents — their capacity to collaborate, communicate, and influence others.

Today, Sara is happily fulfilling that commitment as a keynote speaker, author, and executive coach. These venues have given her the opportunity to mentor and support thousands of people in diverse situations, inspiring many of them to move from insight to action with dramatic career results.

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