There is a great song by Kenny Chesney the Country Singer Called “Live a Little”. He states” Stressed out, running late, racing down the interstate
Spilled hot coffee, down the front of my jeans
It’s work, work, pay the rent, money and my time’s spent
Not a minute left for me to be me”
Doesn’t that sound like your day when you are managing a whole lot and you do not seem to move an inch? Sometimes you feel like you are moving so much but your work accumulates similar to a tortoise on a hot day – motionless. There are ways to create more momentum and manage many things and believe it or not still make progress so lets discuss five methods to advance you forward.
- Priorities – First you need to understand what are your priorities and what are not. Recall what I said earlier what is urgent to others is not to you and vice versa. It then becomes necessary to establish your priorities and determine those things that are most important. And if you are unclear and your boss comes to you and states, Do this and Do this and Do this then it is not uncommon, unprofessional or insubordinate to state what is first. Simply ask that they have provided you so many things request what is the most important, in what order and what are the time frames. I would also suggest that you ask for resources when needed and who might help you if you get stuck. In addition I also recommend developing To Do” lists that contain “crucial” and “not crucial” items. Some items will be more important, some not so important. For many lack of prioritizing our list, has a tendency to allow focus on things less important. The tighter the focus on priorities the more that gets done. With this in mind planning helps so each morning and each evening you must devote a few moments to creating your priority to do list for the day. This allows you to determine the 6 to 9 items needed to accomplish by you and the team that day. We only have 168 hours per week to accomplish results. And if we take away 56 hours per week for sleep, that only leaves 112 hours! This is why planning is essential to success
- Identify and eliminate time waste – The first thing about establishing priorities is understanding what it is that wastes your time. Such as
- Telephone interruptions – if the team and the manager continues to allow the telephone to interrupt nothing will get done. And if more time is spent on personal calls then we really lack productivity
- Crisis management – You need to understand urgent from important and not important and must get clarification before preceding
- Drop-in visitors – start working in blocks of time and make it holy do not allow anyone to invade your space so either shut the door and go offsite where you cannot be bombarded.
- Meetings – Most professionals attend a total of 61.8 meetings per month and research indicates that over 50 percent of this meeting time is wasted. Assuming each of these meetings is one hour long; professionals lose 31 hours per month in unproductive meetings, or approximately four workdays. Considering these statistics, it’s no surprise that meetings have such a bad reputation. You will not be able to dismiss yourself from meetings but if they are wasting time, then avoid those that you can possibly miss. If your boss calls the meeting and you are forced into it then you might do some work that does not distract the meeting but allows you to mult-task.
- Personal disorganization – Purchase planners, cell phones, directories, computer equipment even applications on smart phones to assist you. There are so many great applications such as recorders if you cannot write things down. Use Evernote to take notes, save interesting web pages, create to-dos and shopping lists, attach images and PDFs, and so much more or Microsoft One Note a planner and note taking software.
3. Establish goals and time lines – you have all heard about the use of the SMART formula for goal setting but may have not used it. The fact is we all live in a crazy busy world with a multiplicity of issues and projects. We forget, we get busy and we simply avoid it but we really need to be better about our goals and keeping things specific.
- Be precise: This makes the goal more in line with dates so that it is not too far reaching. There are two notions here 1) it helps to crystalize the goal but also 2) what happens if you reach it too quickly or not soon enough? Goals are not meant to be limiting in as much as helping you to better visualize what you desire from the future.
- Write goals down – This crystallizes them and gives them more force. Use an electronic or paper format where you can see and be reminded of them.
- Set goals based on results and outcome – Goals need to be written so that there is action and outcomes. Face it you when you reach a goal you feel awesome so goals need to be written so as to achieve this feeling.
© 2012. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.
Drew Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) works with chiropractors that seek to dramatically increase revenue while decreasing labor. He can be reached at 877-391-6821 or www.stevensconsultinggroup.com