Selecting What NOT To Get Done

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 1 min.

It’s not about getting it all done. We can’t even get most of it done. There’s just too much we could do and more is always coming.

The trick is to get good at selecting only the best things to get done. And to actively NOT do the rest.

To do this, we first give ourselves and our teams permission not to get everything done. Otherwise, the stress and guilt will derail us. Next we set aside time daily and weekly to choose those best things to get done. Otherwise, we’ll be too reactive. Then we dedicate time monthly and quarterly for reflection and planning. Otherwise, our strategy will get stale, we’ll clash with each other over what we should be doing, and the reactive fire-fighting will creep back in.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: What’s the most important thing to get done today? (See, you knew the answer right away.)

 

Today’s photo credit: Tim Pierce accomplished (344/365) via photopin (license)

Productivity Boost From NOT Improving Your Productivity System

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 2 min.

A productivity system helps us capture, organize, and plan things to do. Whether we use an electronic or paper-based system, we want it to be fast, seamless, and very easy to use. So we seek out the best techniques and tools to craft our system.

But that quest works against our productivity. It wastes our time and distracts us from doing our most productive work.

We may be wasting time. We can always find ways to make our system better. But we can spend way too much time finding, studying, and trying new techniques and systems that promise organizational nirvana. We then fall into the trap of over-tweaking our system instead of getting stuff done.

We’re missing the big productivity win. The more we focus on having the perfect system, the more likely we will become great at filling it with tasks but distracted from the biggest productivity win. This win is something that only we–not our system–can do: choosing what’s best to work on.  To do this well, we rely our systems but control the inputs and outputs. For the inputs, we decipher what each email, request, and idea that crosses our path means to us. For the outputs, we choose which things are best to work on now, which we should do later or delegate, and which we should trash. We mostly work these inputs and outputs during dedicated, relaxed daily and weekly planning sessions.

Put a moratorium on tweaks to (or wholesale swaps of) your system. Instead, build the habit of daily and weekly review sessions. Get good at pruning the inputs and choosing what’s best (most important, exciting, fulfilling) to work on next.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit:
Charles D P Miller
cc

Getting Them To Do

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

If we ask, “How do I get them to do this thing I want them to do?” we’ll be asking the wrong question. The right questions are, “What do they deep down want? And how can what I/we do/want help them get there?”

This is true always, regardless of who they are, what they want, and what we want.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Francisco Araújo _ Center Bike cc

Make the Investment 

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 1 min.

When overloaded, the last thing we want to do is add more projects and tasks to our plate. But here’s a project that will remove things from our plate: renovate our task/attention management system.

Time invested here will help us choose the most important things to do, throw away the low-value stuff, handle all the interruptions, and stay on top of things day after day, week after week.

Where to start? There are many places that would work. Here’s one good place: try spending just 10 minutes each morning picking the most important 4 things you want to get done that day. Then head into your day with this as a guide. Even the busiest of us can select a few things that, when we get them done, will have us feeling productive.

Make the investment, no matter where you start. You’ll be happy you did.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: BRJ INC. cc

How To Say No To Emails, Meetings, Etc.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1 min.

It’s hard to say no to all the emails, meetings, interruptions, and other demands on our time. It is hard, that is, until we commit to something bigger, better, and more important to say yes to.

Yes. It’s that simple.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Easy? Nope. Simple? Yes. Doable? By you!? Of course.

PPS: How to find that something? Look for something compelling. It will use your talents, engage your passions, involve you in problems and opportunities you care about, and leave you well cared for including being well paid. In short, it will feel terrific to imagine and exciting (and perhaps challenging) to pursue.

 

Today’s photo credit: John&Fish cc

Getting Unpleasant Stuff Done

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 1 min.

What’s the best way to get something unpleasant done? We can use various techniques to push ourselves to do it. Or we can find ways to avoid it until it goes away or becomes unbearable. But both of these approaches drain us.

A better way is to ask ourselves,  “What end result do I desire here? Why is that result important to me? What’s the very next step (perhaps even a minute one) I can take to move things along? Do I have the time and energy to do this now or should I defer or delegate it? What do I choose?”

It may seem that pushing or avoiding is easier or faster. Nope. This better way gets us into a very productive flow with a small investment in thought.

Flow, good leader, flow.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Dave McLear cc

Who Owns It?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

If we tell people what to do, when to do it, or how to do it, it’s easy for them to feel justified when it doesn’t go well. If we ask what they think about what, when, and how they will do something, then they will be compelled to make it so.

You tell me; you own it. I tell you, I own it.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: ben dalton cc

Happy New Week!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Uncategorized
Reading time: 2 min.

What if we could only get three things done today? Or if we could only get three things done this week?

The answer is straightforward: we’d get very clear what the most important three things are, we’d do them, then we’d relax or go for a walk or something.

Of course, we can choose to enforce this creative limitation any time we want. We could pick our most important things each day and each week and do just them. Then we’d be free to spend the rest of the time enjoying doing whatever (including, perhaps, more work tasks or not) and enjoying having the most important things done.

That would make quite a week.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We all tend to suffer under The Grand Myth of Productivity: “More is Better.” We push ourselves to do more. More actions done, more decisions made, more boxes ticked, more meetings had, more delegations made, more emails processed are–so the myth goes–much better than less. Nope. More leads to stress, sub-optimal thinking and decisions, overwhelm, and mistakes. Worse, whatever we think is really most important to us gets lost in the worlds of push, make-it-happen, and more-and-more.

 

Today’s photo credit: C.E. Kent cc

Worthy Investment

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Which will deliver better results? An action taken while in fear, uncertainty, doubt, worry, anger, regret,  or guilt or the same action taken while in excitement, calm, release, allowing, happiness, love, connection, or peace?

Right.

It’s so worth the investment of time and focus to become the kind of person who more often than not acts from excitement, calm, et cetera.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit:
Nazir Amin
cc