Here are the Top 3 Things Every Professional should know... and the 'Solutions' to help them if they want to learn more.
1. There are only 4 decisions to make with tasks and mail
Applying the 'One-Touch' rule can easily cut down on clutter as it's a fact that clutter is merely 'Postponed Decisions'.
Try this: Look at each task in front of you, one-by-one, and make a decision:
Delete It: If you don't need to do it, don't! As with all 'stuff', ask yourself if it has true value.
Delegate It: Be clear about deadlines and expectations. Use delegation tools and track actions.
Defer It: Create a 'Deferred List' and review often. If it has a deadline schedule it in.
Do It: If you can do it in less than 5 min's, do it now. Imagine the immediate satisfaction!
2. 20% of our 'To Do' lists hold 80% of the value, Prioritizing is key
I have seen some stressed out professionals scrambling on last minute deadlines, putting out fires and struggling with no clear priorities set. Spinning wheels on the 80% of tasks that contain little or no value can eat up one's energy pretty fast.
The simple act of prioritizing tasks on only two criteria, 'Value' and 'Deadline', can help end this vicious cycle. The concept of the 'Time Matrix' can help save the day and give you an 'at-a-glance' look at what the top priorities and deadlines are. Stay focused and get more 'valued' tasks done and be more effective just by using this tool.
3. Over 200 hours a year are lost by the average business owner
Disorganization in the workplace costs on average over $3600.00 per employee in lost wages per year as employees and business owners lose time looking for things.
Average losses are estimated at 1 hour per day. Times that by 5 days a week, for 48 working weeks, at a starting salary of $15/hour and you'll see for yourself how much disorganization can cost a business.
It can get worse when you consider a few other factors, starting with sick time and illness due to stress, lost customers that lose faith in the company, poor productivity from overlapping tasks, purchasing things you already own, forgotten invoicing and last minute 'overtime' created by poor planning. The costs here can be enormous depending on the nature of the business.
Some signs that a change may be due are:
· Desk cluttered with files and equipment.
· Procrastination. It's either the fear of failure or simple indecision.
· Being reactive instead of proactive.
Do you work better under pressure
or is it that you only work under pressure?
Research done by Dr. Pychyl, an associate professor of psychology at Carleton University, suggests that people who claim to work better under pressure are really just procrastinating and he calls them "Arousal Procrastinators". It seems that the majority of us consider ourselves to be procrastinators as well, a whopping 75% according to Dr Pychyl's studies. However, the good news is that 95% of procrastinators want to change and there is help.
I know even I have been known to procrastinate from time to time. So in an effort to help here are my Top 7 Tips to help you get more done and be more effective!
#1 - List your goals
Get yourself in a positive state of mind and start brainstorming. Choose the areas in your life that you need to consider and prioritize your goals. Consider goals that are really your own goals, and not goals that others may have for you.
#2 - Plan your actions
Write out your goals and the steps to get there. Make a "To Do" list for taking daily actions. Until a goal is in writing it is just an idea. Writing out goals is the most critical step to making them concrete, it is the reinforcement to make them reality.
#3 - Manage your time
Create a schedule for yourself as you would for any project. When life gets busy or you get distracted it can be easy to let things slide so having a written schedule will help keep you on track.
#4 - Track your goals and stay motivated
Use a journal to keep track of your goals journey. This is a great way to also keep track of great ideas you have or helpful tips and tools you come across and want to use later. You can leave voice messages for yourself to help motivate you or to help remind you of things that you need to do.
#5 - Get help when you need it
Be honest with yourself. If part of your goals requires doing something you are not good at, admit it and get assistance from others, even if that means enlisting the help of a coach or consultant.
#6 - Be grateful for what you have already
Although it is important in life to surround yourself with people that you can look up to and that can mentor you, remember, our personal experiences are unique. Don't compare yourself to others and put their heads above your own.
#7 - Review, reevaluate, rewrite
Keep your goals fresh, update them as needed and stay focused.
There is no time like the present! Start today to work on your goals and let your dreams take flight!