Your work habits are costing you…

October 3, 2012

By Terry Monaghan, 3 October 2012

 

If you aren’t careful, your work habits could easily be costing you dearly.

Costing you what? Time. Money. Energy. Satisfaction. Results.

What do I mean?

Take a look at how you started your day.

Did you roll out of bed and immediately grab your smart phone to check email? Or did you get out of bed and take your body out for a walk (insert your favorite exercise here)?

Did you eat breakfast? And I am not talking about the venti half caff soy no whip extra shot latte on the way to the office.

Did you give yourself some time to review your plans for the day, and set your intentions for the day? Or did you turn on the computer, go straight to email, and spend time dealing with everyone else’s agenda for you?

Do you have time carved out of your day to focus on the most important work you have to do? Or did you think you would fit it in/get around to it once you dealt with the email? How did that turn out?

Did you take a break for lunch, and actually get up from your desk and leave the office to have lunch? Or did you start to eat a sandwich at your desk only to throw the rest of it out at 6pm? Or even more likely – did you realize at 4pm that you still hadn’t eaten?

Do you actually get YOUR work done at work? Or are you staying late or taking it home to finish because you need quiet time and you can’t manage all the interruptions at the office?

I can hear some of you howling – “But, really, you don’t understand! It always goes that way! I have no control!”

Really? If you say so. I happen to know for a fact that it doesn’t have to go that way. I invite you to set up a call with me to find out how to take back control. There are slots available for a Breakthrough Productivity Session – and you can snag yours at TimeTriage.com.

 

© Terry Monaghan, 2012 ~ All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.


100 day challenge

September 19, 2012

by Terry Monaghan, September 19, 2012

September 23 marks 100 days to the end of the year.  This can be good news or bad news – depending on your perspective.

You have 100 days to hit the goals you set for yourself in January. How are you doing with them?

  • Some of you are on target – good for you! Keep going.
  • Some of you are ahead – fantastic! Don’t stop now!
  • Some of you are behind – time to focus…

What do you think is possible for the last 100 days of the year? Are you interested in a possible breakthrough in productivity?

Here is a simple exercise you can do to review your goals and planning, ensure that you get things done, and build in some work-life balance. This is an exercise I worked through myself just this past weekend. Here goes!

I took some time over the weekend to look at my projections, my goals for the year, and my results so far. Guess what? I am behind the very ambitious target I set for myself. So – I looked at the gap between where I am and where I want to be, and explored various scenarios to close the gap. Then I set all that aside and just asked myself what do I really want to focus on for the next 100 days?

That gave me some other scenarios to play with. One of the ways I play is to go to my forecasting spreadsheet and start plugging in numbers representing the people I want to work with. I don’t look at the totals until I have all the numbers plugged in.

Honestly, I wasn’t very aggressive with the numbers of people I was putting in to the model. However, the total business blew me away! I can easily do twice as much again as I have already done this year.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I then take those people targeted and break the result (over which I have no control) down into the actions (over which I have TOTAL control). Turns out that to do what I drew out will require me to have 50 conversations each month – 2 conversations a day, average. And I wasn’t even put off by the fact that it was already mid-September. After all I could reach the 50 conversation target by having just 5 conversations each day. That isn’t out of reach!

Now here’s my challenge to you. Take some time to think. Look at what you have already accomplished this year. Look at what you would like to get done that isn’t yet done. Create a game for yourself! How many conversations would you need to have to get there? And how many is that per day? Will you do that? When will you set aside time to make those calls?

I guarantee you will see some spectacular results if you take those very simple steps.

 

© Terry Monaghan, 2012 ~ All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

 


If you can’t manage time, what can you do?

September 12, 2012

by Terry Monaghan, 12 September 2012

Last week, I wrote that you can’t manage time. Time management doesn’t work.

What you have access to is your energy and your actions. So, what do I mean by that?

I was reading an interesting book over the summer – The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, by Tony Schwartz. In that book, they talk about energy as defined in physics: the capacity to do work.

Interesting definition, isn’t it? Gives you a very different way to think about energy. So, what impacts your energy? What gives you the best capacity to do work?

According to the authors, there are four areas that together make up our energy:

  • Sustainability (Physical)
  • Security (Emotional)
  • Self-Expression (Mental)
  • Significance (Spiritual)

There is a reason the first one listed is sustainability – the physical aspect. If you are not taking care of yourself physically, it won’t really matter how well the other three are functioning for you. The body will trump everything.

So, managing your physical well-being is one of the critical factors in managing energy – especially if  you want a breakthrough in your productivity, and any possibility of work-life balance. And you have heard me say before – if it isn’t scheduled to happen, it probably won’t happen. Time for yourself has to be a priority for you to have the capacity to work.

(I highly recommend you read the book.)

My second point had to do with managing your actions. You really have direct control over what you do.  And the only thing that reliably produces results is taking action.

So many are afraid to make a mistake that they will think, plan, overthink, forecast, plot – anything but act. But if we really look, even in those times when we have made a mistake – we have gained valuable data. Even if the only data gathered is that wasn’t the way to go.

Things happen in time (at least it looks that way). But without someone taking action – nothing really happens.

What actions do you need to take to get the result you want? Make a phone call, go to the meeting, write the proposal – DO something!

©  Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


Time management doesn’t work!

August 29, 2012

by Terry Monaghan, August 29, 2012

Have you ever wondered why time management doesn’t stick?  You know what I mean… You try this course, read that book, get this app, make lists, use the calendar (digital or paper), schedule, prioritize – and still feel frustrated, overwhelmed and have no time!

Why is that?

I have a theory. I think most books, courses and systems are working on the pieces of the puzzle. But they are only working on the 10% of that iceberg that is above the water line!

And the 90% of the issue that is below the surface is exactly why the pieces don’t seem to fit together, no matter what you do.

We have all had the experience of committing to something – scheduling the time to take care of it – and then completely ignoring our plan. We forget. We get busy with something else. Some emergency is way more pressing in the moment. Our alarm didn’t go off. We got distracted online. Our errands ran long. The phone rang. The kids got sick. We got sick. It rained. The dog ate a sock. Blah, blah, blah.

And then we feel bad. We wonder what is wrong with us that we can’t get a simple task done. We can’t follow a simple plan. We can’t stick to a schedule.

So we stop trying. We decide that ‘it just doesn’t work for us.’

What if it isn’t us? What if it isn’t even the system or structure we are using?

Clearly, there is something else at play here. Some other unexamined commitment is in control of our time and our actions. And until we distinguish what that competing commitment is, whatever we try will have limited impact.

Something to think about: You can’t manage time anyway. If you can, go ahead, manage the next minute and tell me how it goes.

So, if you can’t manage time – what can you manage?

You can manage your energy, and you can manage your actions. And that’s where the next post will start!

 

©  Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


When is a task not a task?

August 9, 2012

by Terry Monaghan, August 9, 2012

Do you under-estimate the time something will take when planning your work?

A client said she was discovering that many things were taking longer than she originally thought and had originally planned for. (We were discussing the progress she was making in taking control of her schedule and her results.)

This is not an unusual situation, but I was curious, so I started asking questions. For example, she had blocked 90 minutes to write a blog post, but was finding that wasn’t enough time. I wanted to know why was it taking over 90 minutes to write the post.

It turns out she was:

(1) researching the post,
(2) writing the post,
(3) editing the post,
(4) loading the post up to the blog,
(5) finding just the right image for the post, and finally
(6) publishing the post.

But she was calling that block of time “writing blog post.”

OK, now I see the problem. Like many people, she had collapsed TASK and PROJECT. So, when I asked her to schedule her tasks, she thought she was doing what I said, but in fact she was trying to cram a project into a time slot for a task.

Have you ever done that? And why do you need to keep them distinct?

Well, if she just devoted that 90 minutes to writing, she would have written enough material for 2 or even 3 separate blog posts. She would have kept herself in the flow of writing.

When you break your projects into the separate tasks, you can make huge progress even when you only have little bits of time available. But when you collapse the two – you might not even start because the whole project seems so overwhelming and you just don’t have the time!

How do you know what is a task, and what is a project? Well, the simplest definition: A task is a single action. Anything that requires more than one single step is a project.

Plan a party is a project. Set the date for the party is one task in that project.

Productivity tip: Go back over your “task list” – make a note of where you are collapsing tasks with projects. See if you can batch the tasks that are similar.

I promise, you will get MORE done that way.

 

©  Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


101 things you can do (or stop doing) to get more time [part 4]

August 1, 2012

by Terry Monaghan, August 1, 2012

Are you ready for the next batch? Have you tried any of the first 75 tips I gave you in part 1, part 2 or part 3?

If you still don’t think it’s important to get control of your time, you might want to read The High Cost of Distraction.

Hang on to your hat… Here’s the final batch of tips (for now).

  1. Put your bills on automatic payments
  2. Exercise – regularly move your body
  3. Hire someone to do your bookkeeping
  4. Have a lawyer review your contracts
  5. Get your will done!
  6. Get your advanced medical directive done
  7. Get a durable power of attorney done
  8. Get rid of (give away / donate) what you don’t use or don’t need
  9. Send that pile of mending to the tailor
  10. Checklists are your friend
  11. Use a packing list when traveling
  12. Make up a duplicate toiletries kit, and leave it in your suitcase
  13. Take a short break every hour
  14. Focus on one thing at a time
  15. Set a timer
  16. Give up being a perfectionist
  17. De-clutter your office
  18. Don’t print that if you don’t really need a hard copy!
  19. Keep an extra printer cartridge and an extra ream of paper
  20. Build a favorite items list at your online office supply site, and use it
  21. Do your single most important task first each day
  22. Facebook will wait
  23. Voicemail is there for a reason, use it when calling out
  24. Let your incoming calls go to voicemail, too
  25. Be careful how often you play phone tag
  26. Take notes on client calls

 

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


The high cost of distraction

July 24, 2012

by Terry Monaghan, July 24, 2012

At a conference earlier this month, I heard some staggering stats about the high cost of distraction.

Here’s how it was presented.

The average American watches about 4 hours of television a day. Assuming that person makes just $20 per hour, over the course of his/her working life that will add up to $1 million in lost earnings and another $1 million in lost interest.

What does watching television have to do with business? Well, how often do you get interrupted during your day? How much time are you distracted from your job? What about your team? Your employees?

Hint: email alone can suck up nearly half your workday.

Statistically, we are being interrupted about once every 6-8 minutes all day long (and it can take 10-15 minutes to refocus, each and every time).

So, from the point of view of the business owner – that would be $1 million paid in wages but not received in work product from the employee. Multiply that across the organization, and the true cost of distraction is (as I said above) staggering!

And how would we calculate the lost revenue to the business?

Is that enough of an incentive to start dealing proactively with the interruptions?

 

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at http://www.TimeTriage.com.


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