Three goals for May:
1) Track your time.
Discipline yourself to stay on track by self-policing your daily activities. To avoid procrastinating, plunge into dreaded jobs and allot a specific amount of time to complete them. Use an egg timer or hourglass to monitor your progress. Strive to finish or chip away at key tasks within, say, five minutes. Do not let anything divert you from the task at hand during those precious minutes. You'll focus more intently when you know the clock is ticking.
2) Hold an agenda-free chat with an employee.
Most of your daily interaction with staff probably revolves around requests, instructions and information sharing. That's fine, as long as you occasionally build rapport without talking business. Pick a worker whom you've leaned on recently. Visit his or her office and strike up a brief chat. Ask about the staffer's kids, pets or hobbies—anything friendly and personal. Forge a bond to strengthen your relationship.
3) Resolve a long-running dispute.
For months, you've known about a simmering conflict between two employees. You've held back in the hope they would reach a peace. They haven't, so intervene quickly but decisively. Meet with them to facilitate a resolution. Hear them out, don't take sides and ask them to summarize each other's position. The more you get them to empathize, the more they will come together to settle their differences.