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Time Management Library

Do First Things First

One of our biggest battles these days is to keep our head above the water line … not drowning in the tsunami of endless inputs that flood our inbox.

Sure, we need a trusted system to manage it all … but we also need to spend enough time to focus on what really needs to get done.

What is your unique contribution? What is it that only you can do? What will move the needle and really make a difference?

Today, give it a try. Intensely focus on doing first things first. Just that process alone will do wonders.

If you do that, you’ll likely discover that no one will miss the parts you didn’t do at all.

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As a Leader, are you an Architect or just a Handyman?

Table Setting with nails and tools MODIFIED

You need to develop a Delegation Mindset!

Yes, it’s sad but true.

If you’re a leader and you don’t develop a delegation mindset, you’ll never get enough done to extend your influence or grow in your organization.

Most importantly, you’ll be unable to accomplish the things that only YOU can do.

Do you really have a chance if you don’t delegate?

When you look over your shoulder, you probably see the flood waters rising behind … and somewhere deep in your subconscious, you’re reminded that you need help.

It’s dawning on you that as you seek and take on more responsibility, you’ll only have more to do … not less … and you’re going to drown if you can’t get some help.

Then, you start to notice there is a lot of potential help nearby … others are tapping into that talent pool … but you aren’t taking advantage of those resources.

What about only what YOU can do?

You also know that if you don’t make time for the things that only you can do, they won’t get done … by anyone … ever. Continue reading to get the Delegation Principles checklist

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If You Stop Asking these 10 Questions, You’re Toast

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Do NOT Stop Asking These 10 Questions

Several years ago, I wrote about whether we needed another checklist of the 10 Stupid Things I can’t stop doing ..or the Top 5 things I need to do before I brush my teeth (really, nothing, do that first … please).

I ran across it recently and re-read the article by Marc Kramer entitled, The 10 Questions You Should Never Stop Asking.

What about … WHAT ONLY YOU CAN DO?

As an experienced leadership coach leading a group of CEOs as well as a separate group of senior executives, I’m constantly reminding leaders to focus more intensely on what only you can do.

You’ll need to register to read Continue reading about this powerhouse article

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Leadership Insights | The 8 Principles of Effective Delegation

What’s Your Delegation Score?

Delegation isn’t just a handoff so you can walk away and do something else. It is a critical leadership skill that you must master if you want to expand your reach, take control of your time and achieve the work-life harmony you’re seeking.

Learn the 8 Principles of Effective Delegation.

Score = 0 from 3 people

 

How often have you failed with delegation?

How often have you wondered why a project went wrong, or why someone never finished the task you were counting on them to finish?

How many times have you complained about projects that you’re managing … missing their deadlines, going over budget (not under budget very often, huh?) and not getting done as you expected?

How did you feel when you were called on the carpet by YOUR boss wanting to know why the project you’re handling is stalled?

Why didn’t your delegation succeed?

When we’ve delegated some or all of a project to someone else, we’re embarrassed … and probably a little teed off … but we’re also too often thinking about the wrong things like …, “damn that John, he just can’t be counted on” … or, “she doesn’t get it” … or something like, “they can’t ever seem to follow through” as we tick off all the reasons why the people on our team have let us down. (more…)

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Leadership | The One Word You Should Tattoo on Your Forehead

There’s little doubt that this single word … or the absence of it … has doomed kings and queens as well as peasants and us regular folk.

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
~ Paul “Bear” Bryant

Why not take a moment … I know I  don’t have time for all of mine … to add a comment below about the biggest disaster you can recall when you left this word out of your plan?

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Leadership Insight | What are we doing to help you?

“There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.

Winston Churchill

Why do you have your own business?

Winston Churchill could have been an entrepreneur to have so eloquently dramatized the thrill associated with building a business.

Whether you own it yourself or share it with partners, it’s yours to build, to mold according to your dreams and values.

You may be building it from scratch or seeking new opportunities to jumpstart a mature company. In either case, I hope this will help you on your journey.

Want to build your own boat?

Why do you have your own business?

Independence, many will say, the chance to run my own show?

Be my own boss?

Do things my way – maybe because you’ve seen them done the wrong way and you can do better? (more…)

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Leadership | There’s a simple one-word formula to avoid an ass-whuppin’

Prepare to Win … or get ready to get your butt kicked!

Many moons ago when my daughter was 3 years old, she really wanted a Barbie dollhouse for Christmas.

She never played with Barbie dolls … never liked them much either … but she loved all the little people and things in that doll house.

We found one and hid it in the attic to await Christmas Eve when we could sneak it under the Christmas tree.

My wife and I went up to the attic around 10 p.m. that evening and it was only then when I noticed the small print on the side of the large box … “less than 500 pieces.”

Assembly Required?

What? 500 pieces? To assemble? At this hour? Alas, yes … and man, was it painful to have to stay up until 3 a.m. putting it together. How’s that for preparation? (more…)

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Personal Productivity: Capture all of the randomness

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization.

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What are you doing with all the random information you get?

One thing’s for sure.

The amount of random bits of information heading our way every day is truly mind-boggling.

Some days more than others but collectively, we receive and try to retain thousands of pieces of data that we’d like to store and recall on a moment’s notice.

It happens in all part of our life, too.

Kid’s classroom schedules, swim meets, volleyball games … and pictures of furniture we like … books and music we don’t want to forget … room measurements that we’ve just taken for the 4th time or wish we remembered when we were looking for a new sofa … or the type of printer ink we need because we always forget which model we have … the list is truly endless.

How many web sites have you visited where you’d like to keep that information … read that article later … keep that software tip handy … gifts we don’t want to forget for our anniversary, the kid’s birthdays, Mother’s Day … this is another endless list by itself.

I love Evernote to collect every tidbit of information

I’ve become pretty attuned to capturing every single minor detail in my trusted system.

Since I’m on the Mac platform, I use Daylite, a great productivity suite.

Let me know if you want me to share more details about their dashboard and how to adapt it using GTD principles.

I’ve also jumped into the deep end of the pool with Evernote.

I’ve had the Premium version for about 3 years but I never used it as much as I do now.

I’ve come to see it as a more important part of my workflow because it serves as a very handy database for random bits of information.

It easily syncs across all of your platforms … laptop or desktop, iPhone, iPad and other devices …. seamlessly and quickly. That part is truly a no-brainer.

The elephant logo of Evernote is just that … your personal memory bank for all things that stumble across your path everyday.

Just this week so far, I’ve added 66 notes to my Evernote database.

If you want to know more about how to integrate this wonderful program into your workflow, let me know and I’ll expand upon it in an upcoming article.

 

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Productivity Tip | Work Smarter or Take a Nap? Hmmm ….

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization.

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Good Question – How DO you get more done?

By now, some of you have seen the latest Harvard Business Review with this cover.

I don’t think a day goes by when we’re not pondering how to get more done.

The Being More Productive article is an interview with David Allen of GTD fame and Tony Schwartz at The Energy Project, who leads a growing movement concentrating on optimizing and renewing our energy to become more productive.

In fact, the first thing you see when you visit the home page of The Energy Project is a statistic that we all know: 72% of people have trouble focusing on one thing at a time, something we covered in Are Distractions Destroying Your Brain?

I doubt that it’s really that low.

There are several articles in this guide, as you can see from the quick snapshot.

Take a look at some of these articles and let me know what you think? Any tips there that are  working for you … or is it all just old news?

I’d answer that question myself … but I think I’m a little overdue for my nap.

 

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Personal Productivity | Don’t overlook the “Elapsed Time Effect”

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization.

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Which stuff are you working on first?

Don’t we all know there are many tasks or projects that require us to wait for something else to get done first … or for someone else to get something done before we can continue?

We know that “waiting for” stuff is a critical piece of our personal productivity program because it’s the linchpin of the critical “follow up” that we must always be doing.

So, that part is pretty obvious.

But, have you ever prioritized your tasks to make sure that you’re taking account of the “elapsed time” that something requires?

Here’s the simple hierarchy I try to use. See if it makes sense to you.

1. The 2 Minute Rule

If you can get it done in 2 minutes, do it, get it over with, move on. I think we all know this one.

2. The “Elapsed Time” Effect

Here’s a simple example of how this works. (more…)

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