Thursday, March 28, 2013

Time Management Tune-up Series - Part 1

Ok it's almost the end of the 1st quarter. Yep, can you hardly believe it! April 1st is just around the corner?  So how's it going?  Well, I know for me I've got clarity on some things, made some decisions and now feel I'm in a place where I can employ the 1% principle of increasing my productivity.

So for my readers who are feeling the same, I'm presenting a Time Management Tune-up Series.  The series provides simple time management strategies any of which when used consistently can help you get more done and reduce your stress. 

This series is curated from the writer: Eric Barker - the source link is provided below. Remember to use the 1% principle. As a reminder it's just choosing one thing and doing it long enough to see tangible results.  

Additionally, if you're a manager or team lead, this is a great series to present or use in your staff meetings over a period of time.  I bet if you used these for a quarter, an entire team will raise it's productivity.

Time Management Tune-up
A curated series from: Eric Barker

Tune-up Area #1: 
1) Have A Solid Daily Ritual - Use Short Minute Rituals
Here’s a solid one from Peter Bregman that will help you maximize use of your time .

STEP 1 (5 Minutes): Your Morning Minutes. This is your opportunity to plan ahead. Before turning on your computer, sit down with the to-do list you created…and decide what will make this day highly successful…

STEP 2 (1 Minute Every Hour): Refocus. …Set your watch, phone, or computer to ring every hour and start the work that’s listed on your calendar. When you hear the beep, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you spent your last hour productively. Then look at your calendar and deliberately recommit to how you are going to use the next hour. Manage your day hour by hour. Don’t let the hours manage you.

STEP 3 (5 Minutes): Your Evening Minutes. At the end of your day, shut off your computer and review how the day went, asking yourself… questions like: How did the day go? What did I learn about myself? Is there anyone I need to update? Shoot off a couple of emails or calls to make sure you’ve communicated with the people you need to contact.

Coaching Tip: Now we know with the 1% philosophy, using even one of these can make a difference. How can you employ this your team?
Need more help getting the right things done at the right time?
Consider the following:
1. Engage a productivity coach - just a few sessions can make all the difference.
2. Get:  Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book -  The Seminar


Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Simple Time Management Tip - Put Things Away

The Discipline of Putting Things Away

This post was curated because I need to hear this on...
Author: Dana Byers
Failure in the area of putting things away means we keep items out “just in case“. Is it possible we don’t put things away because we’re indecisive? Or do we keep items out because we’re multi-tasking instead of focusing well? No matter whether you think having a cluttered area to work in sparks creativity or not, I have landed on the observation that I’m personally more productive when only the items I need for a specific task are before me.
Please Put Your Things AwayHere are some areas in my family’s life where we’re guilty of leaving things out:
* Laundry: I’m good at starting a load in the wash, but putting it away is another story.
* Dishes: Same story as laundry.
* It’s not uncommon for a craft to be started before bedtime in our home then left out until the next day…or two.
* Items that are carried into our cars are sometimes not taken into the house or thrown away when we return home.
Toys: Need I say more? We’ve identified homes for them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are put away.
While I struggle with others’ messes that remain in our home from time to time, there are a few areas I’ve taken note of lately where I’m doing well at putting things away – my makeup and hairdryer after I get ready in the morning, and resetting my desk to order before I leave my office at day’s end. I think there are two reasons for this:
1) I am the only person responsible for these tasks, so they get done. (Translation: I cannot control my family members’ choices about putting things away, but I can control mine for the most part.)
2) I know I’ll be back the next day to do the same task and want to have a smooth start. (Reason: The reward of  beginning a routine task without a mess before me is motivating.)
Each time we leave things out we avoid making decisions. Narrowing options for our next task is hard. Allowing ourselves to be distracted by something more fun than putting things away means we move on without understanding a task is as complete as it can be at this time.
Now it’s your turn. Identify which tasks you’re already experiencing success in putting things away. Determine what motivates you, then work on forming the habit of putting things away in one of the areas in which you’d like to improve.
Which tasks would you like to get better about putting things away when they are done?
Need more help getting the right things done at the right time?
Consider the following:
1. Engage a productivity coach - just a few sessions can make all the difference.
2. Get:  Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book -  The Seminar

Monday, March 4, 2013

Are You Keeping Your Time Management Efforts A Secret?

That may sound like a crazy question, but think about it.  Many people begins efforts to become more skilled in this area, but don't inform the people around them.  And many times those are the very people who impact your time management the most - either in a positive or negative way.  It's those who may be part of the problem.

Well if this describes you, here is a simple and dare I say obvious time management tip: Employ the people around you to help you out!  Ask them to hold you accountable.

Call it a bit of reverse psychology.  Instead of saying to a colleague, "Hey stop interrupting me!" Let them know you're really working on your time management and you would love to get their help! Then, give them some actual things to do or say or strategies to practice with you.

I think one of the best results of harnessing the help of the people around you will be indirectly keep those very people in check themselves.

So consider these questions:
With whom would you like to employ this time management strategy?
What do you want them to do or say?
How will you reward or celebrate with this person to cement the commitment or achievement? (This is a great idea...consider an incentive in the endeavor that you both can share!)
Need more help getting the right things done at the right time?
Consider the following:
1. Engage a productivity coach - just a few sessions can make all the difference.
2. Get:  Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book -  The Seminar

Friday, March 1, 2013

Time Management is a Leadership Competency

Curator's Notes: Again, another article on time management.  Do you think people turn a deaf ear to the topic/skill of time management?  It's one of the most searched key words on Google, yet many people lack even the most basic skills surrounding it.  I say it should be a part of every employee orientation or a required training for every employee.

Of particular note are leaders who do not possess this skill, as their ripple effect usually has much greater consequences.  So, let's just put forward this premise -- time management is a leadership and management competency. Read on...

3 Biggest Things Hurting Your Productivity

There's one thing every leader needs to have to be great: time management. Struggling? Take a look at what may be hurting your leadership.
In my years of coaching founders, owners, and executives, I've found that one key skill is the doorway to just about everything else. Get this one thing right, and everything else follows. Screw it up, and you'll face an uphill battle all the way.

What is this magic skill? In a simpler age, it was calledtime management. A while back, the terminology changed to productivity management.

Now, in the 24/7 information era, I prefer to call it environment control-- the ability to manage the swirling, chaotic, constant flow of information, decisions and tasks that surround every leader.

Why is this seemingly mechanistic skill so important in the development of leaders? The answer is simple, but hiding in plain sight: I've found that most would-be leaders have the mental, emotional, and physical resources necessary to develop whatever skill or attribute is asked of them.

Whether developing as a leader requires you to work on the art of delegation, or more courageous risk-taking, or becoming more innovative (your mileage will vary), chances are you are quite capable of developing that skill. If you have the time and space to do it.

And there's the kicker: you probably don't have the time and space to do it. You start with good intentions, but the sheer pressure of other commitments and the constant inflow of new demands, new information, prevent you from taking a disciplined, structured approach to building the new skill you need.

Net result, six months later, little has changed. You're still not delegating enough, not thinking strategically enough, not innovating enough. Taking a firm grip on the environment around you--getting to the point where you can control how and where you spend your limited resources--involves radically upending how you approach three key areas of your life:

1. Your Calendar.
If you regularly slough off meetings because you're overbooked, end the day embarrassed because you failed to show for conference calls you were expected on, or spend your time scurrying from one late-running meeting to the next, you're not going to develop as a leader. You'll simply stay on the same hamster-wheel, trapped in a groundhog day of your own making. No excuse: Great leaders have the exact same 24 hours a day that you do. They just manage them better.

2. Your Commitments.
When was the last time you made an inventory of all the outstanding commitments you've made to others? Or even just noted down the commitments you casually added in one day?  Stuck leaders fail to realize that we can't keep making commitments, large and small, without at some point overloading our ability to deliver on those commitments. If you've reached the point where others can't trust you to do what you say you'll do, you have a systemic problem--one that will fatally stall your ability to grow as a leader.

3. Your Communications.
Got 400 unread emails in your inbox? Looking at a reading pile the size of a small library? Do outstanding reports and presentations start yelling for attention every time you open your laptop?
If so, your ability to lead is being compromised--severely compromised--by the pressure to manage.

I wish I had a magician's ability to make the problem of environment control go away overnight. I don't. But I do know that until you fix it, you'll never be the leader you want to be. 

There is a solution, but requires hard work (sadly, not a popular concept in much of today's leadership literature). Grab one of the many great resources on environment control, and invest the time needed to install systems and processes that will give you mastery over your calendar, commitments and communications. 

Personally, I highly recommend David Allen's classic guide, Getting Things Done (full disclosure, the author is a friend of mine, but I admired and benefited from his book long before we met), but there are many others out there.  The issue is not a shortage of resources. The issue is your commitment.

Are you prepared to invest time to learn the only leadership skill you may ever need?
3 Additional Recommendations: 
1. Consider some time management coaching - I'm happy to help you with that: em:

2. My release: Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book -  The Seminar

3. Make sure you offer a time management seminar at minimum once a year for your organization or professional group - click to learn more

Source link:
Les McKeown is the author of the bestseller "Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track--and Keeping It There" and is the CEO of Predictable Success, a leading adviser on accelerated organizational growth. His latest book is "The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success." @lesmckeown