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Archive for September, 2009

27
Sep

Workplace Illusions

When you multitask you get more done.  Illusion or fact?

Multitasking is a solution to an overloaded workday.  Illusion or fact?

Multitasking doesn’t really involve doing several things at once.  That’s an illusion.  It actually requires you to switch back-and-forth between things and multitasking significantly reduces productivity.  Have you ever been talking on the phone and typing an email at the same time?  Is that multitasking or are you just  rapidly switching your focus between both tasks?  Have you ever stopped and said to the person you’re talking to “Excuse me, what was that you said?” because you were typing an email at the same time they were talking?

If you properly define multitasking as switching back-and-forth, and consider the cost in terms of lost productivity, you can  make slight adjustments to your behavior, like shooting for a 20 percent reduction in multitasking, and still enjoy significant gains and multitask when it’s appropriate.  And contrary to what some books and articles say, multitasking is very appropriate at times.

The point is, there are many productivity-killing workplace illusions, and multitasking is one of them.  Look at the task at hand, and before you start, ask yourself, does this task require my full attention in order to complete it correctly and more efficiently?  and if it does, than focus just on that task, complete it, and move on to the next one.  Don’t let those email alerts, phone calls, and other “shiny objects” distract you.

Pick a task you perform regularly, try staying focused just on that task, and see how great you feel when you finish that task more efficiently than ever before.

Taken from the GO System training course written by Chris Crouch.

Have a productive week!

20
Sep

Wise Words for the Workplace

I came across some great quotes for the workplace the other day and thought I’d share a few of them with you.  We can all learn from at least one of these!

  • Problems that go away by themselves, come back by themselves.
  • Never mistake activity for progress.
  • Don’t confuse frantic motion with constructive action.
  • They will remember how poorly a job was done long after they’ve forgotten how quickly it was done.
  • You can’t make a fact out of an opinion by raising your voice.
  • To lead people, give them a reason to follow you and the freedom to do so.

Have a productive week!

12
Sep

Slow Down Inorder to Speed Up!

In keeping with last weeks post, let’ take it one step further…

Have you ever heard the old saying “Failure to plan, is a plan for failure?”

or my all time favorite “Failure to plan on your part DOES NOT constitute an emergency on my part?”

Planning is the key to effectively managing your priorities.  Creating a “To do” lists is not planning, it’s just listing tasks you need to do but not necessarily in the order in which you should do them.  So as a result, that list is constantly scanned for things you feel like doing, not necessarily things you should be doing.

Planning is a process and it requires that you learn to slow down in order to speed up.  Many people get so caught up in the daily activities and deadlines that they feel there is no time to stop and plan. 

 Follow these simple steps for planning your day and see how much more productive you’ll be: 

  1. Take the last ten minutes of the business day and plan for tomorrow.  Do not leave the office before you have set your priorities for tomorrow.
  2. Set a default priority.  Ask yourself, “If nothing else happens tomorrow, what is the one thing that I need to accomplish?”
  3. When you arrive at work, remind yourself of your default priority before checking your email and voicemail. 
  4. Try and accomplish your default priority first thing in the morning.
  5. Schedule specific time to work on important projects and activities.
  6. When your day seems to get out of control, take 60 seconds to stop and reset your priorities.

 Good Luck!  Be more productive than ever before!

5
Sep

Take A Pit Stop

Do you feel stressed when you walk into your office and see the various tasks piled on your desk, credenza and floor?  Do you feel that your desktop – both physical and electronic – controls you? 

The tasks that are sitting on your desk or stored in your inbox as a reminder of a “to do” item are nothing more than forms of clutter.  Working from a clean desk or inbox will improve your odds of doing what you should be doing instead of what you feel like doing.

Follow these simple steps to help eliminate the clutter:

  1. Gather everything that needs to be considered or acted upon
  2. Get rid of unnecessary items or things that don’t matter
  3. Determine the order of importance for your items
  4. Act on the items in priority order

Learn to slow down when you feel like speeding up.  The typical response to anxiety is action…and action drives out thought.  People who do not think about what they are doing usually lose sight of their objectives.  If you are under stress or out of control, it is counter intuitive to slow down and implement this four-step process.  Like a race car driver coming in for a pit stop…you don’t want to slow down.  However, sooner or later the lead driver must stop and make adjustments if they want to finish the race.  They must slow down when they feel like speeding up.  Gathering, filtering and prioritizing are the equivalent of coming in for a pit stop. 

This is a concept discussed during the GO System training course.  Feel free to contact me for more informaiton!

Take time for a pit stop so you can cross the finish line!