You know, I talk with a lot of people — in person and online. Can you believe that in the last year I have seen an increase of over 78% that say they are having difficulty getting things done on any given day?
Time management – smanagement! It is hard to get things done now.
Procrastination is at an all time high. Today, I'll share some tips to get your time management back on track.
Why are things different?
I was in a conversation with a colleague the other day and he challenged that people today need to harder than ever before. “What is the big excuse?” he stated. Well, I shared a few that you have shared with me over the past few months….
Common complaints and concerns I've heard:
— “My vendors are taking forever to respond!” It seems that since everyone has more on their plate, there are bigger gaps in the time it takes to get an answer to a question. (Kind of like rush hour traffic in Chicago — it only takes one car slowing down to get a big backlog happening.) This slows you down.
— “I'm worried about making a mistake. I can't afford to disappoint my clients.” When you see your friends and family losing their jobs through restructuring, its easy to get stalled at making decisions. It is difficult to choose where to spend your time to ensure you are providing value in your role.
— “I'm so @!*#?! irritated that there is so much more to do!” How can you produce quality work when you are distracted with all of the activity, or inactivity around you?
6 Ways to Recover and Improve Your Time Management
1 – Eliminate “analysis paralysis” — Today knowledge workers lose on average 25% of the workday to Information Overload. via Basex: http://bit.ly/cKAjZE. While it is easy to get caught up in spinning in circles with the things you have to do, STOP. I know it is scary when you feel your job might be on the line, but doing nothing will not help. Take action – some kind of action. One of the worst things you can do is do nothing.
2 – Stop the “time sucking” activities — Email and social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, etc.) are important tools in today's business environment. You need to be careful, however! When you least expect it, those very tools can turn into “time suckers.” Instead, schedule times throughout your day that you will check or interact with/on the tools. If you don't they can all too easily become an escape that you mindlessly participate in to avoid your to-do list.
3 – Show me the money! — When you need to pick from an ever growing list of to dos, start by focusing on the money-generating activities of your company. Is your role closely related to revenue generation, process improvement or client satisfaction? Identify the parts of your job that are most closely related to the money the company can make (i.e. stay in business) and focus your energies there.
4 – Be objective about new opportunities — Every time a new idea is presented, be sure to assess if it really fits with your big picture. Manage your to do list and be OK letting some things go. Keep in mind that trying to do it all leaves you spread too thin to do anything well.
5 – Start the day by “eating the frog” — Brian Tracy wrote “Eat that Frog,” which sounds gross, but is meant to remind you to do the most important tasks first. We often want to do the easiest or most fun task, but that just leaves us procrastinating on the items that really need to be done. By “eating the frog” first thing, it does not matter how crazy the day becomes. You will have confidence that the most critical tasks are accomplished.
6 – Identify the Frog! — Every evening before you leave your computer for the day, identify that one or two items that you need to do first thing in the morning. This way, when you enter the office, there will be no questions and you can hit the ground running.
Friday I'll share what some of my friends and colleagues have to share on this topic. It will be fun!
If you are looking to read some more on this topic, consider getting one of these books.
Brian Tracy – Doubling Your Productivity – How to Manage Your Time & Organize Your Life – Motivational DVD Training Video http://bit.ly/BrianTracyDYP
Time Power: A Proven System for Getting More Done in Less Time Than You Ever Thought Possible http://bit.ly/BrianTracyTimePower
Making Time Work For You http://bit.ly/HTaylorMTW
The Effective Executive (Classic Drucker Collection) http://bit.ly/DruckerEffExec
First Things First http://bit.ly/CoveyFTF
The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done http://bit.ly/DailyDrucker
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity http://bit.ly/DavidAllenGTD
Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals http://bit.ly/BrianTracyFP
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People http://bit.ly/Covey7Habits
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time http://bit.ly/BrianTracyETF
Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be http://bit.ly/ChrisGardnerSWYA
Comment and Share
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? How has this post impacted you? What are you doing to manage the shifts that are happening in your workplace? Comment with abandon! Let's have a discussion. Just comment in the comment section below.
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