Friday, April 26, 2013

1 Easy Tip to Reclaim An Out Of Control Day

Is Your Day Out of Control? - Here's One Easy Way to Get It Back

Have you ever had one of those days? You start off with big plans to be productive. Your calendar is filled with confirmed appointments. Then, nothing seems to go right. Your computer crashes. Your cell phone battery dies and your charger is at home. Someone spills coffee on your shirt just before an important meeting. Your confirmed lunch appointment stands you up. 

Don’t worry. Your day is not a total disaster. In fact, you can save your sanity and salvage the day. You just need to re-focus, jump start your motivation and sense of productivity.  All of those scenarios above cause you to feel as if your day has gone completely out of control.

Jumping starting your motivation and productivity means regaining your sense of control.  A simple way to do that?  Follow this simple piece of time management advice:

TIP: Keep quick tasks close at hand...
When time opens up in your schedule, like your lunch appointment not showing up, you suddenly have time to handle other opportunities if you’re prepared. For example, I carry notecards, envelopes and stamps in my bag. When I find "lost time" in short unexpected moments throughout my busy day, this allows me to write a few thank you notes, birthday cards and other hand-written messages to clients, staff and others in my network. 

Getting something done in place of what fell through keeps me feeling productive and the unexpected gesture makes me stand out from the masses.

Additionally, in any work environment and on every "to do list" are something called quick tasks -- tasks that are easy, effortless and can be executed fast.  If you quickly want to gain a sense of control, jump start your productivity, feel as if you really are getting something done seeing tangible results, start doing your quick tasks. It's amazing how quickly your mood will turn positive and your motivation will manifest into sustained momentum.

Curated and adapted from this article: 5 Steps to Rescue Your Productivity:

Need to jumpstart your results? Then you'll want to get the book Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed, how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy =>Have it your way -  Kindle - The Book - Nook Audio Book (audio also available on iTunes)

Also on Kindle: Declutter Your Life From The Inside Out 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Invest Your Time or Spend Your Time - You Decide

An Important Time Management Strategy - Invest Your Time vs. Spend It

We are constantly in our culture hearing about investing money with the hopes of getting a return on investment. And certainly many who have taken that road have been rewarded handsomely experiencing some remarkable returns.

Well the same can be true about time.  Time, like money is a commodity and can be spent or invested - you decide.

I love this time management tip and perspective because since time is your life, what we're really talking about is investing in yourself - investing in your life! 

Here are 4 areas that most consider meaningful and important....and in which you'll want to consider investing in.  These are areas that most want to increase the quality and longevity of and one of the fundamental ways of doing that is "taking the time" to do so.  It's like paying if forward for yourself with a ripple affect to others.

  1. Skills – Investing in you is always a good use of your time. What new skills do you need to learn? Being a life-long learning is key to future success. Always be investing time in new skills and capabilities.
  2. Health – Too often, exercise and healthy habits get put on the back burner when you are busy. Make sure that you are maintaining your body and health. After all, your health impacts your abilities in all areas of life.
  3. Relationships – Despite the old cliché about “quality time,” relationships are all about “quantity time.” (Hat tip to Brian Tracy.) It’s the amount of time that you invest that determines the relationship.
  4. Career – Too many people wait for their job to hand them a promotion or next opportunity. Instead, go out and make it happen. No one is going to simply give you that new job, you have to go out and get it.

Coaching Tip: Look at how your time is used and see what of these 4 are being given attention and how. I recommend using the practice of time mapping - taking a week at a glance and chart how your time is really being spent!  This exercise will give you a realistic view of how your time is or is not being invested!

These and other suggestions you'll find in this recommendation below: Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed: how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy - available in these formats: Kindle - The Book - Nook Audio Book -  The Seminar    |      Here's an independent review of the book

Friday, April 12, 2013

Time Management Tune-up - Manage Procrastination With Let's Make A Deal

Time Management Tune-up - Part 2

When I was growing up, one of my favorite game shows was Let's Make a Deal - and it's still on! One of the aspects of that show I loved was the ability to makes choices that would determine the destiny of the contestant  - Door #1 - Door #2  or Door #3...oh the mystery of it all!

Sometimes, in certain areas of our lives, playing games to get things done is a useful alternative to "throwing the whip".  The area of overcoming procrastination is one of them.  So let's employ the game show theme of "let's make a deal' to this common time management challenge.

If you're finding yourself stuck rather than go negative by trying to force yourself to do something, (this by the way is trying to overcome your own resistance - not very pleasant) try the alternative of "let's make a deal."  

Here's how it would go:  Make a deal with yourself in this way. Tell yourself that you only have to do something related to the unpleasant activity for 1 minute.  Now 1 minute does not sound like a very long time, but honestly it is.  It's a useful period of time when you want to jump start your motivation with minimal resistance.

So...decide exactly what small (micro) action you're going to take, set a timer for 1 minute and go at it.  Here's what you'll probably discover:

  • 1 minute was longer than you thought.
  • You'll say to yourself, "That wasn't so bad."
  • You'll actually have gotten something done.
  • Your negative energy will have probably shifted and you now may be feeling positive or least neutral.
  • And ultimately, you'll be willing to give yourself another "let's make a deal minute" to take another step forward turning that motivation into sustainable momentum.
That, in fact, is the value to this tip - moving yourself from resistance to momentum via a fun and incremental way. You can even promise yourself a reward! 

Look, I know we're all adults here, but sometimes we have to employ a child-like self-coaching tactic to get r' done.  Have fun with this one and share the idea with others!  This is a great time management strategy!  (It's also a great technique for getting the kids to do unpleasant tasks as well.)

If you need more help and ideas to tune-up your time management, you'll want to 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