How do you keep track of all that you have to do? You have meetings, projects, phone calls, e mails and much more to get done in the course of a day.
How do you assure that everything gets done efficiently and well? That is a question only you can answer. You have your style, needs and ways of working that all factor in to how you get things done. Take some time to examine and observe how you keep track of all you have to do. What works for you and what doesn’t? It will be time well spent to make sure you don’t forget!
photo: KellySikkema, stocksnap.io
Sometimes things just don’t go right. When this occurs, do you push on, ignoring what’s not working or do you stop and reassess? Sometimes, the best approach is to start over. Yes, it is a drag to erase all the time and effort you have already spent, but continuing may take more time and effort, with no results.
Starting over can apply to projects, members of your team or your own performance. How do you decide when it is time to start over? Some things to consider in your decision are: whether further action, on the same course, will make any difference, what results you have seen so far, what obstacles you are facing and whether they are surmountable, if there is a better way to accomplish your goal and what may happen if you do not start over.
There is nothing wrong with starting over. What matters is getting things done and if starting over will get you where you want to be, go for it.
Stop laughing. ☺ It’s worth paying attention to. Why? When you are fully present to what you are doing, your work gets the benefit of your intelligence, attention, time and skill. Distraction or inattention diminishes the quality of your work and often increases the time you spend, for lesser results.
Being fully present brings all of you to your tasks. You’ll work better, faster and more effectively. For my next blog post, I’ll create a list of 10 ways to stay fully present to what you are doing.
photo: Photokanok, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
How do you find the shortest path without sacrificing quality (or yourself)? Time is such a valuable commodity these days it behooves you to use it well. The shortest path involves preparation, efficiency, focus, course correction when needed and team alignment.
When you start a project, ask yourself and your team what the shortest path to completion and success is. Just by asking the question, you will better your chances of finding the shortest path.
photo: jscreationzs, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Ah, to have a smooth day of managing without all the ups and downs. Most days, work is a roller coaster of highs and lows.
How do you navigate the ups and downs of your workday? One way to start is to adjust your expectations and accept that, most days, there will be both highs and lows. Then, find ways that work for you to handle the ups and the downs, as they occur. Adjust your perspective, so that you can handle them quickly and efficiently and not get knocked off balance by their presence. Develop ways to navigate them. Create your own machinery to guide your “car” through the roller coaster of managing. You’ll be a better manager and the roller coaster won’t wear you out.
photo: ponsulak, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Work nowadays can be 24/7. You will not survive, in the long run, without balance and down time in your life. How do you disconnect from your work as a manager?
Disconnecting is not about a 5-minute break or about coming home from work exhausted, going to bed and starting again in the morning. Nor, is it about taking a vacation once a year. The nature of disconnecting is breaking your connection to work. It is not always easy to make a break. We go at such a fast pace and have so much pressure, that a momentum builds, that is hard to stop. Many organizations keep up this pace and are not encouraging about breaking from it.
Disconnecting often requires you to make a hard stop. It also requires strong intent and being convinced of its value to you. But, if you find a way, at least once a week, to disconnect from your work you will find your efficiency, productivity and satisfaction increasing exponentially. How do you disconnect from your work?
photo: nuttakit, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
1. Organize what has to be done, as you begin.
2. Let those around you know where you will be focusing your attention and time.
3. Be realistic if there is something you cannot get done.
4. Get rid of distractions right away, so you can focus.
5. Prioritize tasks.
6. Get efficient help where you need it.
7. Take a 5 minute break every hour and center.
8. Take care of your physical needs, to keep your stamina up.
9. Identify the signs of when it is getting to be too much. When they show up, stop
10. Periodically evaluate your progress and respond accordingly.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Untethering is about freeing yourself from limitations. What ties you down in your role as a manager? There are various ways to untether from these things. You can:
• create efficiencies in the way you work
• stop putting energy into worrying or fretting about things that are out of your control
• eliminate unproductive distractions and energy drains
• minimize the time you spend with people who limit you in some way, spending only the time that is absolutely necessary
• detach a bit , even if just mentally, to sharpen your perspective regarding your work
Your balance, fulfillment and sanity at work depend on your having the freedom you need to perform. Untethering is one way to create that freedom.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
For how much of your 24-hour day are you tied to your work? It is not only about when you are physically working. You can be tied to your work emotionally, mentally or other ways, long after your workday is done. It is good to be aware of how much you are “working” and then to set some boundaries that allow you to maintain your balance and freedom.
We are not meant to work 24/7. Working beyond your capacity on a regular basis diminishes your efficiency, effectiveness and ability to enjoy life. People have different levels of capacity and desire to work. Determine what’s best for you.
Life has a lot to offer you. Broadening your life, pursuing your interests and having regular down time can actually make you more successful and enhance your career. Don’t let others push you into working 24/7 by competition, pressure or threat. Find your balance, do your job well and live your life.
photo: David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I regularly find myself wishing that people could get to “the truth of it” more often than they do. In organizations, there is an overabundance of hidden agendas, talking around things, not getting to the point, sidebar conversations and reluctance to address things directly. Much of this comes down to manipulation – truth does not serve someone’s purpose – or fear- if you speak the truth, you may get burned.
Of course there is risk in speaking the truth, but organizations could create cultures and environments that minimize this risk. In doing so, they will find that efficiency and collaboration increases. What are some ways to advance a message that truth is welcome? Develop some guidelines for positive communication. I found the book Crucial Conversations to have good advice on how to communicate positively on sensitive subjects. Do not admonish or penalize team members for speaking the truth. Expose manipulative action and agendas and let team members know they are not welcome.
In many organizations, these are huge changes and blithely telling the truth without a supportive culture does have risks. Start slowly and go step by step. If you can get upper management’s attention on this, do it. Cultivate a truthful culture for your own team. Start in non-threatening ways. For example, creating a safe environment for honest feedback.
There is wisdom in the phrase that the truth shall set you free. Go for “the truth of it” in your organization.