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.


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.


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

June 27, 2012

by Terry Monaghan on June 27, 2012

There is a lot of talk about work-life balance. How do we get the best performance and productivity out of ourselves and our teams?

Many of us are looking for those magic pills – that one perfect idea that will instantly transform our lives. Well, good luck with that.

While you are looking, here is the beginning of my list of 101 things you can do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time!

And who doesn’t want more time? After all – if you can free up even a little bit of your precious time, you might be able to use that time for something really important (to you). Here goes…

  1. Deal with your email in batches, 2-3 times a day
  2. Create a template for your week – what would a perfect week look like?
  3. Give up multi-tasking – really – it doesn’t work OR save time
  4. Schedule focused blocks of time for different activities (even just 15 minutes will make a difference)
  5. Schedule regular time to goof off, rest, relax
  6. Focus on what you do brilliantly – spend most of your time on that
  7. Find out what you can automate – and automate it
  8. Schedule all regular medical appointments at once (for the whole year)
  9. Schedule all personal care appointments at once (for the whole year) – hair, nails, massages, facials – why not make a day of it?
  10. Make a map of your whole year (once a year) – it gives a very different perspective
  11. Stop doing everyone else’s job
  12. Don’t have your email push through to your smart phone (pull it in when you want to deal with it)
  13. Turn off all noise makers and pop up alerts for email
  14. Turn off the phone when you need to concentrate
  15. Determine your work hours, and stick to them
  16. Plan your work, then work your plan
  17. Manage your interruptions, as much as possible (which is more than you think)
  18. Focus on what is important
  19. Respond, instead of reacting
  20. Don’t set alerts for everything
  21. Take regular breaks – at least one every 90 minutes or so
  22. Schedule at least one full day off every week
  23. Take your vacation
  24. Set up email rules to automatically sort incoming mail
  25. Unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read

More in the next post…

Now, what are your favorites?

(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.


Do you ever get stuck?

July 28, 2010

Getting Unstuck

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a whirlwind? What about finding yourself in the middle of a long dry spell where nothing seems to be happening?

I think it is two sides of the same coin.

Recently I was feeling a little stuck in my own business. I have this great plan, and can see it all mapped out. And yet, I wasn’t taking some of the action that was there to take, and in other areas I didn’t even know what actions to take.

We have all heard the quote about the definition of insanity: doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result. Well, that’s where I was.

Here’s just one example: I have been told to send out press releases about different things in my business and I haven’t done any of that. As a child I was told that I shouldn’t brag.

What do they have to do with each other? Well, if you have grown up believing that bragging isn’t good, then sending out press releases becomes impossible.

Have to send out press releases – that’s good for business. But the 5 year old thinks it is bragging – and that’s bad.

Such a trap! There is no way out of that one. Until…

Until I can recognize that I am not the 5 year old, and I am not bragging. The context is decisive! Once I saw that, really saw that, I was freed up to take the actions on my plan. Not only that, but there is a flood of new actions that weren’t there before.

Where are you being stopped by your 5 year old self?

Shameless plug: I am re-running my Productivity Basics teleclasses in August. There will be two session on developing a schedule that works, one session on planning, and one session on taking control of your email. Details are available at http://www.timetriage.com/events.asp.

In the meantime, have a great summer – but remember – you are calling the shots – not the 5 year old!

(c) 2010, Terry Monaghan

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, a free weekly 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.


Change of perspective is a great thing

March 2, 2009

I just got back from a week in beautiful, sunny, SW FLorida. And, of course, it snowed within 12 hours of my return. Now, if it had snowed before I left, I probably would have been grumbling about the inconvenience of it all.

The interesting thing is, after a week of studying, writing, walking and thinking – I could completely enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the snow. Perspective is amazing!

Where in your work/life are you feeling trapped? Could you just be a little too close to the situation to see what is really possible?

Step back, take a wider view. That may be all it takes to change the outcome.


What do you think you can’t do?

February 15, 2009

At a workshop last week, a participant challenged something I said with “Yes, but, with budget cuts the work still has to get done! How on earth am I supposed to get it all done?” And, there was a lot of agreement in the room for what he was saying. (Full disclosure – this was at one of my favorite parts of the exercise – where I expect people to begin challenging my assertions!)

He was challenging an assertion I had made that he (and everyone else in the room) had total control over where he put his time and effort. And, that the best place to put that time and effort was into the fulfillment of his goals (whatever they may be).

Yes, but – this paperwork has to be done. Yes, but – this other thing has to be done. Yes, but – how am I supposed to get all of this done? Yes, but – I have a family, another job, a mother-in-law, groceries to buy, a house to clean, bills to pay, filing to do, calls to make, appointments to keep…

You get the picture?

Then, another person said “maybe we need to start spelling TIME as TEAM!”

Brilliant! Exactly!

Why on earth would you want to do it all yourself?

And don’t tell me you can’t afford to build a team! There are resources you can’t even see when you are thinking that way.

Start asking yourself “How can I …?” and see what happens…


Is Balance Even Possible?

April 28, 2008

There is an awful lot of talk about work-life balance these days. Everybody is trying to attain balance. And mostly, everybody is failing making themselves wrong for that.

But what is balance really? And how do we get there?

I read an interesting message today from Bob Proctor:

It’s possible to focus so much on one thing that your life becomes imbalanced.

How can you avoid this? Through an attainable goal … which occurs when you pay attention to all areas of life and neglect none.

To create … a fulfilling life with riches in every category – let’s think of life in 5 key areas:

  1. financial;
  2. relational;
  3. mental (including intellect and emotions);
  4. physical; and
  5. spiritual

Visualize these as pillars. If you weaken any of them, you start falling apart, either all at once or by bits and pieces. And you can’t strengthen the structure by reinforcing the strong pillars; instead, you must attend to the weak ones – areas of neglect.

Your pillars will never be equally strong all of the time. This is what some people call “balance,” but it’s misleading. You can’t establish absolute strength for all five areas and then keep your life in that pose for an easy and unchanging live. (Thank God!) Life would be uneventful – and incredibly boring.

Think about this: In perfect balance, nothing happens – nothing!

Creating [balance] starts with realizing that all areas must have some attention all the time – not that all areas demand all your attention all the time.

The key is to plan for finite periods of focus and defocus – but never total neglect.

Finite periods of focus and defocus – in other words, things will go out of balance from time to time. It is a dance of correct and adjust, correct and adjust, correct and adjust.

 


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