How often do you step out at the end of a work day wondering exactly what you achieved in that extremely hectic day? Your to-do list has all of the items you started with, and then some. You find yourself feeling stressed and frustrated just thinking about how much you have to do, and wonder where you’re going to find the time to do it all.
You’ll probably have to work some overtime, and while your family will be mad at this invasion of their time, they’ve got to understand just how busy you are and that your workload and responsibilities are just too great to manage in a day. Right?
Wrong! Well my friend if this is, more-often-than-not, the story of your life, then it’s time to re-evaluate the situation and see it for what it is. Your workload is probably not so huge that it overcomes your personal life, and the reason you feel like you achieved little or nothing in your day is because that’s exactly all you have achieved. I know, how dare I suggest such a thing! I dare, because all I have is this short blog post to get you to see the problem and share a few solutions, and if I spend all my words getting you to see the point in a soft and fluffy way, then there will be no words left for solutions. And lets’ face it, whether or not you like the way we got to the problem, it’s the solutions you really, really need. So turn that frown upside down and read on.
Here are a few easy-to-implement strategies to take you from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated to feeling productive and successful, and I hope that you chose to implement some or all of them on your next day at work.
- Effective meetings in 5 steps: It seems trendy to have meetings for the sake of meeting. Most meetings are simply a waste of time. They lack focus and direction and often end without specific actions or a way forward. Meeting attendees often arrive unprepared and a large part of the meeting is wasted bringing everyone up to speed on the reason for the meeting. If this sounds familiar, then you need to take heed of these 5 strategies for effective meetings:
- Clarity- the meeting invite should clearly set out the objective of the meeting and the preparation and deliverables required from every delegate. At the start of every meeting check that delegates have arrived prepared. Enforce this strictly.
- Meetings should be short – duration of the meeting should be relative to the objective of the meeting, no additional time to be added for socialising, get straight to the point.
- Punctuality – meetings should start and end on time, no exceptions.
- Worthy Chairperson – the Chair of the meeting should be able to direct the meeting, include everyone as needed and extract all key points in the allotted time.
- Succinct and accurate minutes –Minutes should very briefly state the key points discussed and should clearly cover the action points, deadlines and individuals responsible for each action. Minutes should be circulated within a day of the meeting at the latest.
- Tune out Technology – beeps, chimes and rings have taken over our world at the high cost of focus and productivity. It is a fact that every time a beep, chime or ring occurs, it breaks your chain of thought and time is lost forever because you need to start that thought all over again. While it is impossible to tune out technology altogether, here are 3 strategies to manage your technology effectively:
- Turn off your emails: Create a habit of reading and attending to emails once or twice everyday at specific times, and close your email at all other times. People will come to learn this about you and will call if there is something urgent at any other time. You really don’t need a bing or an email notice popping up every single time you receive new mail.
- Turn off notifications on your cellphone: When your cellphone beeps, you stop whatever you’re doing to check it – that’s just the way it is. Most times the beep was for a message that was a complete waste of your time, but you sacrificed your productivity to attend to it immediately. Schedule times in the day where productivity is most important and turn off all notifications on your cellphone during these times. There is no place for distractions in a productive space.
- Social addictions: I know that you really do need to know when all 505 of your friends are having coffee or going shopping or taking their pet for a walk, and it’s really cool knowing this real-time so you can like or favourite or retweet or share. If you’re nodding your head in agreement right now, then I hazard a guess that you may just be a little bit of a social media junkie. Now that’s not a bad thing if the social scene is what you do for a living, but chances are it’s not, and this kind of addiction is coming at the cost of wasted productivity in what you do for a living. It is great to utilise social media to stay in touch and stay connected, but not so great when this connection negatively impacts your productivity. This is why it’s time to step up and step out of the addiction. Allow yourself the gift of connection and have 2 or 3 short, specific times in which you will connect via your many social media channels each day. Perhaps early morning before work, a short catch-up during your lunch break and then in the evening, after family time, when you’re unwinding for the day.
These are just a few, practical strategies that will allow you to improve your Productivity and Step back into your Power. And Stepping into your Power is the key to Unleashing your Success!