Ross Statham, Editor,
August 24, 2020
be your most effective every day, learn how to manage what you do and when you
do it. Try these suggestions-- they can help you boost your productivity, help
you get things off your plate, and allow you the freedom to focus your energies
where you want:
Plan out your week. Sunday evenings or Friday afternoons
can be a great time to do this. But don't skip this vital step, and do it
Daily "to do" list. Create a daily list of things to be done,
even if only a few important items. Indicate the "important" items that must
get done; perhaps give them a "star" to the left margin. Perhaps also block
some on your calendar. As the day progresses, don't try to rely on your
memory; when something new needs to get done, get in the habit of writing it
down. Check items off as they're accomplished. My list always starts small,
and gets longer as the day progresses. I also suggest you jot down on this
list conversations as you have them, with brief notes to the side as to what
was discussed. Do what works for you.
Keep it simple.
Your daily to do lists can be as simple as a school composition book next to
your computer. These have plenty of room for your to do list on the right
page, and plenty of room for notes on the left page. When you place a
call to someone new, write down their number, in case you need to look it up
again tomorrow or next week. (Can't tell you how many times that has
saved my bacon.)
Use your Outlook calendar
wisely. In addition to
meetings, use it to set reminders, block out time, create repeating events
which you synch with your phone. Record your life-- not just work. Use it
for anniversaries, birthdays, school events along side scheduled phone
meetings, travel, etc. You only have one life, so you only need one
Block out on your calendar items you want to ensure get done, or you
want to get done during specific times of the day or week. Blocking out your
calendar has several big advantages. It puts you better in control of when
you do your planning, when you do specific important tasks, when you call
people, when you do your personal development, take lunch-- when you do
everything. It also can be used to limit the amount of time you spend on
less important tasks, reminding you to to stop this activity and to start
another you've already planned out.
Day planning is best done at the end of the day, not
the beginning. Before you leave at the end of each day,
review what you did and plan
out your next day. This is one of the most important time management tips we
can give you. Tomorrow morning you'll be ready to go!
Get at your desk early. Get the previous evening's emails answered
and review the to do list and calendar events for the day one more time.
Keep your contact list up to date, and keep it synched with your
phone. Add their LinkedIn URL when you set up a new
contact. Take a few notes to help you find them later and to jog your
memory. Having information at
your fingertips any time you need it is vital.
Have a call or meeting planned? Include a two or
three-point agenda with your calendar invite. It will help keep you
and others prepared for the meeting and will help move things.
Remember the flexible toys Gumby and Pokey? My
personal motto is "Semper Gumby" (always flexible!). Be willing to adapt and
adjust as your day progresses. (And always stop what you're doing to
take calls from your significant other, your kids and your Momma!)
Block out a half hour every month for a major goal review and tweak.
Just a half hour spent each month will work wonders to help keep you focused
on your goals.
Looking for an extra productivity boost?
Get a copy of "The
Miracle Morning" as an audio book from Audible.com. Sign up
for their free trial, and download the book on to your phone. Cancel
within thirty days and you still get to keep the book. It's an
outstanding audio book that will teach you how to transform your mornings
and boost your productivity.
If you found this article to be helpful,
let us know, and share with others. All the best!
Talent Perspectives: Insights for Busy
Professions is a series of brief articles that help build winning teams,
provide insight on talent and provide organizational development ideas.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the
authors and are
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