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Archive for March, 2010

27
Mar

Schedule Time For YOUR Priorities

Do you ever find it hard to get the things done that you want to do?  Do you allow others to control your calendar?

People often have a hard time blocking out time for the things that they want and have to do.  They feel they have to be available to everyone at every time and don’t protect their blocks of time.  They tend to attract the “office visitor” – those that drop by just to say “Hi” and catch up on the latest TV show, office gossip or family updates.   It doesn’t matter how well you prioritize your tasks if you don’t schedule and dedicate the appropriate amount of time to get them done.  When you block out specific time slots to complete your tasks you’ll:

  1. Start having a realistic view on how much you can actually get done in a given period of time.
  2. Minimize distractions and interruptions.
  3. Reduce stress by actually getting done what you wanted to do.
  4. Stop overloading your work day.
  5. Empower others to stop relying on you by eliminating the perception that you are always available.

When you gain control over your schedule, start building in flex time to allow for unexpected interruptions and emergencies.  When you do this, you’ll be able to make adjustments to both your time lines and goals.  Stop feeling like you always have to be available.  Think of times when you aren’t at your desk – in a meeting, at a doctor’s appointment, at your children’s school activity – when you returned to work, I imagine it was still there. 

You make appointments and schedule meetings with others, why not make one with yourself?

Have a positively productive week!

18
Mar

Age of Technology

I have to admit, I have enjoyed the technology boom and even find myself intrigued with the latest and greatest gadget.  Even as I write this, my cell phone is sitting next to me and my e-mail is up and waiting to alert me of incoming mail.  Technology allows us to have access to information at our fingertips, allows people to telecommute, keeps us connected regardless of where we are and gives us a sense of increased productivity – or does it? …and it has also taken the human element out of communication.

The average American office worker sends or receives over 200 messages a day – voice mails, emails, faxes, text messages and other forms of communication.  Cell phones, pagers and handheld computers ensure that we are always plugged in and easily accessible.  These devices often advertise that they will increase productivity but instead, they often leave people feeling distracted, overworked and counterproductive.  Always being accessible and connected can leave you with the feeling of never having a moment to yourself.

Regardless of what your feelings are about technology, it’s here to stay.  Follow these tips to avoid feeling over-connected:

  1. Choose wisely – just because a new gadget enters the market, it doesn’t mean you need it.
  2. Set boundaries – learn to enjoy a few moments every day of not being connected or accessible.
  3. Let the phone ring – don’t assume just because the phone rings, you have to answer it. 
  4. Turn off your email alerts during your focus time.
  5. Don’t use email when in-person communication is more efficient.
  6. Set limits to the amount of time you’ll spend web surfing, checking face book, and checking email.

I’m setting my own technology boundaries and keeping what is most important in my life – my personal relationships – my top priority.  I hope you do the same.

7
Mar

Network With Experts

Consider this scenario:  There are 2 people, doing the exact same job, yet one of them get’s the job done quicker.  Is that person smarter than the other?  No, not necessarily.  They have just figured out a more efficient way to do that same task.

Productivity is not about managing time.  Productivity involves accepting the fact that time is inflexible and focusing on ways to use time rationally.  One way to do this is by networking with experts in your field of interest.

Ok, how do you do this?  First, start with listing four basics in your field of expertise.  Now ask yourself, who are the experts related to those basics?  It could be someone you know, someone you work with or it could be someone who’s written a book on the topic.  Who would you seek out if you wanted to increase your knowledge?

I did this the other day.  I was struggling with one of my “basics” and decided to seek out an expert to help me through the process.  After just a one hour conversation, I had a game plan written down and I was on my way. The plan that we came up with would have probably taken me hours to develop on my own – and that’s assuming I would have come up with the same plan.

By networking with experts related to your basics in your field of interest, you’ll gain more knowledge, get more done in less time, and have more time to do the things you want to do.

Check out these 2 websites and let me know what you think:

www.ted.com

www.teach12.com

Have fun with this process.  It truly is a great way to improve your productivity!

Ideas from the GO System training course.

Have a positively productive week!