Jam packed schedules are normal right? Everyone is running from place to place; from meeting to meeting, and from conference call to conference call. It's just the way it is. B.S!
For those of you that don't read short hand, that's Bull Shit.
That is the way we have made it. And we will continue to make it that way if we (and by we, I mean you and I) don't do something about it.
Put a stop to your crazy schedule and in doing so, help each other out by adding these three things to your schedule now.
Once a month: Set your priorities for the month. What projects are you working on? When are the due dates? Back things up to make it manageable and not last minute. Reflect on what you need to get done to meet your personal goals.
Annually: What do you want to accomplish this year? Personally I mean. Finish a course? Get a promotion? Read a book? Take time to look at what you want in addition to all that is expected of you in your Leadership role. Block off time to do this. Plan it in. If you don't you will hit the end of August wondering why over half the year feels like it's gone and you've still got so much to do.
Schedule 15 - 30 minutes a day to reflect. Our best learning and growth happens when we look back over what happened, what we did and how we responded. Taking time to look back at your day will give you guidance and direction moving forward as well as the opportunity to acknowledge yourself for successes you may instead have simply overlooked while running to the next appointment on your calendar.
TAKE YOUR BREAKS! Yes, I am yelling. If I could, I would stand on top of a tree and yell it for everyone to hear. This is vital to Leadership success. We were not meant to run at full adrenaline all day. You know this, but I will repeat it again. It is not healthy, at all to not take breaks.
It's time to clean your office. At least a smaller part of it. In this months series, I am working with you on taking some of the down time in August to do some cleaning. Last week I focused on your inbox and the week before, your desk. Today the focus on a part of your office.
Three steps when you start to clean
Find out more here
Watch the accompanying YouTube video to hear a few more tips for cleaning your office.
Welcome to the second week of cleaning your office. Last week I gave you some ideas of how to clean off your desk. This week we focus in on your email.
Email fills up fast. August is a time to do two things:
Trust your intuition. Quickly go through keep or delete. Go with what your first urge is. Make the decision in less than a second and trust me, it will be the right decision.
Do's and don'ts to developing a manageable system
Don’t do email during high energy times. Use that time for more priority projects. Going through email can suck valuable energy. Don’t waste your energy.
Do review your email later in the morning or in the afternoon. You will still have enough energy to do it will and deal with it.
Don’t spend hours and hours doing email or get stuck in the habit checking all day long.
Do spend 5 minutes (time yourself, seriously, set a timer) first thing in the morning to make sure there is nothing critical you need to see or do
Do time yourself later in the day giving 20 minutes to review your inbox. (Yes, that's it! Only 20 minutes)
Don’t get caught up on one email
Do quickly scan and deal with one after another in quick succession; file it, review it quickly, forward it on, put it aside to read an article later or do a short response to it. If an email will take you more than a couple of minutes to deal with add a note to your to-do list or put some time in your calendar to deal with it and then move on. For more help with this check out the Getting Things Done (GTD) method.
One final note. In the video attached above, I mentioned an app that I like called rollup. Actually, the app is called unroll.me. This app takes all of your subscription emails and rolls them up into one email. Then when you have time to go read your newsletters and weekly posts from agencies etc. they are all in one spot. The goal is to not clutter your inbox.
Here is some more help for you. This guy has fantastic ideas and a great quirky sense of humor. Sign up for Steve Dotto's course here: 3 steps to inbox zero.
Add any of your email tips below. I'd love to know how others have managed the email monster!
Welcome to my first of a 4-part series on cleaning your office.
August is, I hope, a slower time for you. There tend to be a few less meetings. Those people that send you work maybe are on holidays. Usually there are fewer deadlines.
Is seems like a fabulous time to spend a bit of time cleaning your office allowing you to re-group before the September craziness starts.
Lets start with your desk.
Three steps to cleaning your desk
DO NOT start with sorting.
But what if I forget something?
You might have a fear that putting the other “stuff” away that doesn’t currently belong on your desk will have you forget it. In my experience, that doesn’t usually happen. If it is something important, put something on your to do list, on your calendar or my favorite, send yourself an email. Then put the file/pile/book/form away until your really do need it. The rest, the stuff you actually do forget about, probably wasn’t really important in the first place ;-)
Clearing your desk will clear you mind. A calmer you will emerge.
I have a home office and a house full of people this August. Distractions are at prime this month and I’m finding it hard to focus. If it’s not the warm weather inviting me outside, it is someone wanting to chat with me, or my natural curiosity about what is going on outside my office door.
Here is what I have learned to help me be more productive this summer.
What do you want? Be focused on your vision. What do you intend to accomplish before the end of August? I took a look at my quarterly goals and used that to make a list of what I want to get through in the next few week. That helps me stay focused.
Set goals. Be clear each day on what parts you want to get through and how you need to do it. Many refer to it as your top 5. What are the 5 things you must absolutely get done today?
When I write a short, very specific to do list just for today, I am way clearer on where to spend my time and what I need to carve out space for. It also motivates me to get back on track when I catch myself becoming unfocused.
Dig your feet in. I know you can do this. Move away from distractions. Close the open tabs on your internet browser. Avoid conversations with others that you know are not really priority. Move away from the noise distractions.
When you get off track, keep coming back. Don’t give up. Be stubborn. You know you will feel better in the end when you do.
Here is a great article that reminds us distraction isn't "all in our head", it is our head, our brains in fact. Check it out here.
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