5 Reasons You Continue to Procrastinate

January 7, 2020 by  

At work, you may feel stuck in the deepest rut of all time. You try to move forward but the groove is deep and you are really wedged in there well. Sound familiar? It happens to most leaders at some point. I have found the best way to get yourself out of that rut is to understand the reason you are there in the first place.

There are 5 usual reasons that people get stuck in those ruts.

Reason #1: You aren’t clear about your goals.
Goals that lack clarity are merely wishes. I’d like to make a million dollars this year. Wouldn’t we all! If you have no definite plan that will never happen.
It is much better to establish ambitious but realistic goals that include the target and some concrete ways to reach it. I am going to increase our sales this year by 10 percent by cold-calling a few prospective clients every workday is a clearer goal that you just might be able to achieve.
If you haven’t set a clear destination, don’t be surprised if you can’t seem to get any momentum or accomplish what you wish.

Reason #2: You haven’t identified Your why.
Motivation matters. There are plenty of ways out there to increase your productivity, but few of the people actually consider the why and if you do not do that, it will be much harder to accomplish the goal.
So when you get stuck, step back and ask yourself, “Why do I want to reach this goal?” and find your reasons: To make more money, to feel a sense of accomplishment, to take more time off, to go home this weekend and not have work hanging over my head.
Whatever your key motivations, when you find yourself dragging your feet, stop to remind yourself why you wanted to do this in the first place. Reconnecting with your why will always help to achieve your goals.

Reason #3: You haven’t chunked the project down to bite-size pieces.
Goals are big things that are going to take a lot of effort over time to accomplish. People can get stuck focusing on the enormity of the task. To reach your goals, focus instead on the chunking up the job in smaller pieces or steps that you will need to get there. This will make it easier to accomplish your job as we are best with tasks that last 15-20 minutes.
I should add the caution that while larger goals ought to challenge us, the steps toward getting to our goals should not. These steps need to be inside our comfort zone and ought to require little or no courage to do. The trick is to cut the giant into enough pieces so that he is no longer menacing.

Reason #4: You are distracted by too many tasks.
If left unchecked, the whirlwind of activity in your organization will constantly distract you from reaching your goals. So simplify things whenever you can.
The most helpful concept for me is what I call “The Big 3”. I teach that you should only have three main tasks per day. To focus on three and only three, you have to filter your tasks and eliminate, automate, or delegate everything that is outside your list.
You can also have a small list of non-essential tasks that can be handled at the beginning or at the end of the workday. Your attitude toward these things ought to be, “If I get to them, fine, and if not, that is okay, too.”

Reason #5: You haven’t built in any accountability.
Built-in accountability is one of two primary ingredients for goal success. You need someone who will hold you accountable without succumbing to your excuses. Their purpose in this context is not to shame you but to remind you of the road you set out on, and why getting over the finish line will be worth it. You need to focus on the main tasks in order to fulfill the whole project.

If you pay attention to these obstacles and find ways that make sense to you to overcome them, you will be much more likely to achieve your goals in a timely fashion.

Time Management….a Misnomer??

January 18, 2016 by  

This is question that you may want to ask yourself if you find time management and organizational skills a challenge.

Here are a few definitions to consider:

1. Time management is the development of processes and tools that increase a person’s time-efficiency.
2. Time management is the ability to manage and control time. The use of planners, calendars, and the like are effective tools in managing time. Implementing a routine is a method of scheduling actions, which enforce a regiment to fit with a person’s flow of work and production activities.
3. Time Management teaches a number of techniques that aim to increase the effectiveness of a person in getting the things done that need to be done. Time management is somewhat of a misnomer as time passes without regard to what we do; the only thing we can manage is ourselves. Hence time management is mostly about self- management.

If you are going to be successful at this you must employ some structures that make sense and allow you to organize your daily routine in a prioritized, somewhat flexible manner that allows you to accomplish those tasks that will move you faster toward your goals while make both efficient and productive use of your time.
People who manage their time poorly create unnecessary stress for themselves and others, get less done, and hurt their chances for success. Therefore, those who manage time effectively, work smarter and are more valuable to their organization.

So where should you begin?
The first step you may want to take is to begin by making a commitment to start this process. Next you will need to analyze your schedule and determine what you need to retain, what you can eliminate, and possibly what you can delegate. Now you can set some weekly, monthly and yearly goals.
Your next step is to compose a prioritized list of tasks with appropriate, attainable time lines for them.
At this point you may want to explore the factors that prevent you from getting organized or following through on the items on your list in a timely fashion. In other words, what sort of time wasters turn you into a procrastinator or leaves you in crisis situations. One those are identified you will have a better chance for eliminating them and being able to fulfill your urgent and important tasks which will move you more quickly and easily toward accomplishing your goals.
If you begin spending 80% of your time on the critical issues and only 20% of your time on the other issues, you will find that your effectiveness increases dramatically!

Here is how to do that:
- Start making those important tasks more urgent by setting deadlines for them, and scheduling them into your day.
 -Deal with those important tasks even if they are not yet urgent.
- When dealing with an “urgent” request, take time to consider your response.
 -Well thought out solutions are usually better than impulsive reactions.

Don’t let others “steal” time, learn to say “no” when you must, and do not feel guilty about it. Do it now! Use small blocks of time constructively. Keep your desk clear. Use one calendar and sync your electronic devices to it to avoid conflicts and keep you abreast of your appointments and deadlines. Don’t get bogged down, take breaks or seek assistance as necessary. Try to control the time wasters that you can.

Remember: Time is of the essence so be sure to make the most of yours!
If you do that you will not feel like this: God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things, right now I am so far behind I feel like I can never die!!!
If you commit to managing yourself more effectively you will be less stressed, more productive, efficient, creative and happy and, you will be much more likely to achieve whatever you set out to do!

10 Self Management Tips for Successful Entrepreneurs

January 28, 2014 by  

When everything is a priority, how do you maximize your productivity and continue getting things done?
1. Outsource what you can
Everything may be a priority, but you are not equally brilliant at everything. Eliminate the unnecessary tasks and outsource your weaknesses so your time and focus is directed to where you will make the biggest impact for the business.

2. Focus on one thing at a time
It may seem like a no-brainer, but multitasking is a myth. Instead of juggling multiple projects at once, schedule out blocks of time during which you only focus on one task or one project.  Take breaks but eliminate interruptions during these focus periods.

3. Prioritize the time-sensitive issues
Do time-sensitive tasks before they become a crisis. Look at all of your to-dos and identify the time-sensitive ones . Do those tasks at the start of each day, then prioritize the next big project to undertake in the same manner.

4. Schedule high brain tasks in your prime time
Everyone has a time of day when they are the most productive so focus on the tasks that are the highest priority to complete during that time. Once you have set that block of time, eliminate distractions such as calls and emails and use that time when you are at your mental best to accomplish your most important tasks.

5. Get an outside perspective
It is easy to get overwhelmed and too emotionally involved in everything that is happening which can hamper your ability to make clear decisions. Engage someone else; such as a business partner, mentor, coach or friend to help guide you with the right questions and solutions.  This outside perspective can open you up to new possibilities and opportunities.

6. Protect yourself
When you find your plate filled with all high-priority tasks, you must remove all external distractions. This includes other people, emails, phone calls, and all social media sites. Now focus all of your energy on one task at a time until the project is complete, and then you can move on to the next one.

7. Don’t get stuck
You will never get everything done, so don’t dwell on it.  Divide your time between what is urgent and what is important. If you handle all the things that pop up as soon as they come to you, you will never move forward. Deal with the urgent issues and work toward the long-term solutions.  As you grow, you can hire more people to handle some of those urgent matters.

8. Do the jobs that move you forward
It is important to stay focused on what really matters. Spend some time on upfront planning to determine the most critical tasks that you need to complete in a timely fashion. It is usually much better to concentrate on one or two priorities and do them really well, instead of being spread so thin that you have mediocre output or need to redo tasks….this is NOT efficient.

9. Rank for productivity
Written lists are still one of the best tools for productivity. When there is too much on your plate, do a brain dump: give each item a numbered ranking based on priority.  Remember, do the urgent and important tasks first…those are the ones that move your toward your key goals.

10. Define roles and delegate
Make sure everyone on the team has clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Everyone on a proactive team wants to contribute, so leverage their gifts and skills so that the ultimate outcome will be what all of you desire.

Time Management Made Simple

January 24, 2012 by  

Time Management is actually a misnomer as you do not control the clock but you do control the energy and enthusiasm with which you manage that precious resource so use it wisely!

Here are some tips for achieving better self management:
1. Clear your desk….it is most distracting and difficult to work effectively on a cluttered desk. That includes your in box and filing systems….so purge those often and set up processes that help you to keep documents and messages you need in easy to find places.

2. Write down your goals and make them Specific, Achievable, Realistic and Time Limited. When achieved, reward yourself! In addition, if the goal does not have enough meaning and excitement for you, you will likely have trouble executing the steps necessary to accomplish it….be sure it matters!

3. Mutli-tasking is a myth….it takes your brain 15-20 minutes to align the necessary neurons to allow you to perform the selected task at a high level of performance. Every time you are distracted you lose a percentage of neurons to the new task and so are less able to do either job well. (Women are better at it than men, however it is actually better to do one thing at a time.)

4. Schedule email and phone calls so that you can concentrate on specific projects without interruptions for 1-2 hour time blocks. You will get more done and with fewer mistakes. Caution: do take breaks to “clear” your head, re-energize your brain (a walk is good) and hydrate and nourish your body….you will perform at a higher level if you take care of yourself!

5. Procrastination, one of time management‘s biggest stumbling blocks, is a result of fear of failure, not knowing where to begin, inadequate resources, feeling overwhelmed, or having no passion for this particular job…..so address those issues with delegation, clear deadlines, and maybe some friendly and helpful advice from a trusted friend; and you will be able to overcome your procrastination.

6. In order to remember what you have to do…make lists, prioritize the lists, and keep them short so that you can finish the list. You will be more motivated to achieve your daily goals if they are reasonable!

Remember…Time is of the essence so make the most of your time!