Who of us doesn’t have one or more friends or co-workers who’s constantly busy, busy, busy and always in a dither about something but accomplishes little? See them again next week or next month and it’s the same thing. They’re like little drones that have programmed themselves to run in circles. Too busy to plan, organize or set priorities. What is it they’re achieving anyway? Even they don’t know.
Some of the obstacles to efficiency and effectiveness all of us encounter include
- Starting the day without a plan
- Allowing others to waste and confiscate our time
- Doing the easy things first and wasting time between tasks
- Checking and responding to unnecessary e-mail, texts and tweets
- Failing to block out enough time for your most important projects.
There is no substitute for planning, organizing and setting priorities. To do this, you’ll need a dedicated notebook or system in place for listing priorities including time for planning and organizing. Following are tips for increasing your efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace and in life:
- As soon as you accept an assignment, estimate the time it will take to meet the completion date on your calendar along with the people you’ll need to bring on board to help you. Keep open a half-day a week toward the end of each week to finish work in progress—to think—and to plan and organize the next week.
- Plug into your system priorities for Monday and meetings and appointments you’ve committed to beyond Monday. Block time when you’re at your peak performance time for your highest priority, so you give it your very best effort. Reserve some open time for important new work that is sure to arrive.
- Schedule on your priority calendar as soon as you can: time for exercise, reading, important family celebrations, events, and vacations. Don’t make your family settle for leftovers.
- At the end of each month, review your priorities and note your biggest achievements. What needs more of your attention? What new priorities do you have for next month? What one way can you simplify your life to increase your effectiveness?
If you’d like to do one thing that will help move you to the next level of your career, resolve now to act on the suggestions in this blog.