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.

 


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.


101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time [part 3]

July 23, 2012

by Terry Monaghan, on July 23, 2012

How is it going? Have you enjoyed the first 50 tips? Did any of them surprise you? Are you still feeling overwhelmed?

All of the tips have been tried out in the field, and they really do produce a breakthrough in productivity.

Well, hang on – here are 25 more! Try some of them – I promise they will help you with getting things done!

(Remember, you can send me tips you haven’t seen yet. What are your favorites?)

  1. Do something you love to do
  2. Hire someone to do your taxes (save you time AND money)
  3. Find a dry cleaner who will pick up and deliver
  4. Use a personal shopper
  5. Get a personal assistant
  6. The post office will pick up your packages!
  7. Get your regular household items delivered
  8. Order office supplies online
  9. Try meeting by phone or Skype or videoconference vs. in person
  10. Get your groceries delivered
  11. Block out time to focus
  12. Have your assistant monitor your email
  13. Use as much technology as you are comfortable with
  14. Hire someone to run your errands
  15. Hire someone to clear your house
  16. Hire someone to do your laundry
  17. Give up your to-do list
  18. If it isn’t scheduled in time, it isn’t happening!
  19. Schedule regular activities for the same day/time each week
  20. Create a weekly magic list – who will you reach out to? What will you create?
  21. One hour a day marketing (every single day) will have a HUGE impact
  22. Set aside a regular time for follow up
  23. Schedule a regular date night with your spouse/significant other (or social time if you are single)
  24. Do something that scares you
  25. Take time to laugh!

More to come…

(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.

 


101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time [part two]

July 4, 2012

by Terry Monaghan on July 4, 2012

Are you still feeling overwhelmed?

Are you ready for a breakthrough in productivity?

Still wondering how to get things done?

Did you like the first 25 time saving tips? Well, hang on to your hat – here are the next 25 …

  1. Open snail mail once a week
  2. Put junk mail into recycling immediately
  3. Do your grocery shopping online
  4. Keep ONE calendar (you have ONE life)
  5. Keep a notebook handy for dumping your mind
  6. Keep a notebook handy for notes during the day
  7. Remember to schedule preparation time for meetings or conferences
  8. Remember to schedule debrief time for meetings or conferences
  9. Regularly give yourself time to think
  10. Delegate as much as you can
  11. Getting from place to place takes time, plan for it
  12. Use an e-reader – you can read while you are waiting for something else
  13. Plan your meals
  14. Do all (or most) of your meal prep and cooking once a week
  15. Do regular computer backups
  16. Have a clear process for handling your email
  17. Debrief your day
  18. Don’t let other people’s emergencies distract you
  19. Take care of yourself first
  20. Review the next day’s agenda at the end of the day
  21. Keep your keys / glasses / sunglasses / purse / briefcase in one consistent place
  22. Get very clear about your strategy – what is the point of what you are doing?
  23. Set up your work space to work!
  24. Build your life support team
  25. Be sure to set aside time for your family

I’d love to hear what YOUR best tips are!

(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.


5 Reasons to Work Less (and Get More Done)

May 15, 2012

Why is it we think the solution to getting something done is to throw more time at it? You know what I mean. Just 5 more minutes. If I just keep pressing through I will actually get it done.

Five more minutes turns into 2 hours, and we are no closer to finishing than we were before. Then, of course, we usually think there is something wrong with us. What’s wrong with us that we can’t get through this? And we can’t even think straight we are so tired!

I have had this conversation with every single client this week. Every. Single. One. Which leads me to believe that there is an epidemic of busy-ness going on. Frankly, I’d rather see BUSINESS happening.

So here goes. Since you seem to need someone to give you permission, here are 5 reasons to work less:

You are not a machine

Machines are designed (if they are well designed) to work continuously once they are turned on, until they are turned off. Humans are not designed that way! We work best when we work in pulses – periods of focus and concentration, followed by periods of rest and renewal. Even the best of us – those at the top of their game – can only work at peak intensity for about 90 minutes before needing a break. Plan out your day to include brief breaks at least every 90 minutes.

You get your best ideas when you are relaxed

It is only when you stop concentrating / focusing intently that your brain begins to make all kinds of connections. Those connections are what produce those lovely sparks of insight. That’s why so many of us get genius ideas in the shower, or while taking a walk, or doing something other than sitting at our desk trying to force the idea!

You can focus on your unique area of genius

When you stop trying to do everything (and everyone else’s job) you can focus on what you do best. That is also usually what gives you the most satisfaction, and what produces the most significant results for your business. Imagine: how much extra time you could have if you only focused on your job?

You will be more productive

When you allow yourself to focus on just one thing at a time, for a short period of time, you will get more done. Multi-tasking only gives the illusion that you are getting more done. Study after study has demonstrated that it actually takes longer to finish tasks when you are multi-tasking than if you just did one thing and then the other.

You will make more money

For most of us, being more productive will mean more revenue for our business and more money for us. Who doesn’t like that idea?

Now, when are you taking your first little break?

(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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