If you are like most people 24 hours seem less in a day. The pressure of getting more done is ever increasing and so we decided to get the inside story of how senior professionals are managing to get more done in the same 24 hours that we all have.
As an entrepreneur with a thriving #corporate training & psychometric assessments consultancy and a co-founder of WomenLead, what has worked for me is to focus my energies on a couple of areas at a time.
I set goals for every year and keep a goal sheet in my purse. Every month I review if there needs to be any course correction.
At work, I respect momentum and creative bursts and do the maximum during these times.
I focus on deliberately learning something new regularly. Read a book, learn from each training session I facilitate, Video’s etc.
I delegate at work and at home. Actually even more at home. And I try to never do for others what they can do for themselves. It helps them stretch, increases their confidence and saves my time. Also I teach deliberately what I know intuitively.
I am careful who I collaborate with. I invest time in relationship building upfront. Collaborations can be a great source of synergy or a quagmire of wasted time.
Most importantly, I make it a point to celebrate. Movies, good food and travel all keep the mojo up.
Time has never been a scarce resource for me!
I claim this not because there is any less for me to accomplish than other fraternity colleagues of mine, but because over the years one has learnt the art and the skill to control the numerous ‘time wasters’ that one gets bombarded with on an everyday basis.
Traditional management strategies teach you ways to eliminate common workplace time wasters that usually occur due to ineffective communication – better e-mail management / in-person conversations as opposed to mail exchanges / meeting etiquettes / careful planning & organising etc. Having consciously worked towards making these learnings become a part of my natural work approach, my endeavour additionally has been on keeping an uncluttered mind space.
In my experience, the wasteful thoughts that we pile-up in our mind is the biggest impediment to leveraging our productive potential.
Imbibing higher spiritual discipline has helped me build superior personal relationships, improved decision making, better self-control & management of emotions and gain a higher perspective to life. All of this has helped me overcome the challenge of inefficiencies building up, both at work and in my personal life.
Life is all about learning and improving. And this stands true in personal and professional space. I would rather leave “more” and “less” words out. Focus on quality and #productivity.
Being mindful. Productivity and quality can never be achieved if we do not practice mindfulness. Being present and focus on the goal you want to achieve, Try and turn the goal from “Have” to “Want to”.
Do set the goal for your life. And everyday morning, prioritise your tasks based on the goal set by you. Achieving “100% Action Items DONE” is not possible. Hence ensure prioritisation is done.
Meditation really helps and increases over all productivity in every phase of life.
Spend time on taking care of your fitness.
Always spend time with people from whom you learn. “Keep Learning” is the key.
Take challenges. Don’t be afraid to fail. Pamper yourself when you fail and learn out of the overall experience.
Few basic Hygiene stuff can help
- Keeping focused email time and following email etiquette. Emails can eat up our productive time
- Take up the most complex and challenging work when you are most motivated. Get it DONE and enjoy the achievement
- Social networking is important but needs to be limited.
- Always have a prioritised TO-DO list
“Do three things well, not ten things badly.” – David Segrove
There were times when life seemed to be a chain of endless activity; home to work to market and so on. The mind wanted a break which seemed to be an elusive thing. I took pride in my ability to handle multiple things, with each being done perfectly to the best of my abilities in the minimum possible time – The Queen of Efficiency. The consequences:
- Stress and Irritability; impacting people you loved the most
- Missing out on important things in life; Neglecting yourself in the process
- Adversely slowing down my own Growth; Focusing on the ‘now and here’, rather than ‘why, what and how’ of my aspirations
I am a much more relaxed person now. What has helped me are some very simple things:
- Deciding what I want to do. If I have an option between cleaning and playing a game with my 6-year-old, I would much rather play that game. And remember the golden words that my first boss told me ‘no one is indispensable’ – this has been true for me in both professional and personal contexts.
- Going back to the quote I started with; not focus on more than three things at a time. I read this article about the Power of 3 about 5 years back and I follow this religiously. This rule applies when I am offering solutions, making presentations and more importantly, deciding what should I pay attention to on a given day
- Reconnecting with my dreams and what I would like to reflect on when I am saying Goodbye to this world: I have a vision board which emerged for me when I was doing my coaching certification. When I feel confused, overwhelmed – I go back to it and see whether what I am doing is connected to my vision or is it something I will be proud of on my deathbed. These reflections have provided perspectives which shake me up, re-energize me and sometimes are so overwhelming that I go into a state of limbo.
These have helped me in doing things that I enjoy doing in the precious moments that are at my disposal. I wander, cause heartburn to myself and my close ones, but I come back………
I practice the following and it works for me.
- Have a strategy: a plan: I am a firm believer of having a strategy to handle any assignment personal or professional. The efficiency of a task can increase if you are mindful of what has to be done and why. Planning also gives you an opportunity to prepare for contingency or a disaster which is bound to happen cause life is not a smooth run and things do not happen as planned. When you plan your brain helps you to find solutions.
- Always have a plan B– remember life does not happen as you plan it. Not have plan B wastes a lot of time.
- Delegate delegate delegate: Learn how to delegate effectively. That’s the only way to increase your work exponentially.
With small kids, in-laws, trainings, full-fledged training consulting business and a highly active trainer’s portal to manage, it becomes really demanding and difficult to keep up with the overload of work and expectations from all direction.
I have devised my own methodologies to handle these. I would like to share some here.
- Start work early
- I start my work at 8 and finish off all my important and time taking tasks by afternoon. That way my big rocks are taken care of by the time my kids are free from school and my clients start calling me.
- My second half is usually filled with other urgent activities which are smaller in size and the unexpected or new demands from the market.
- I spend at least one hour daily on yoga and meditation. This keeps me fresh and energetic throughout the day.
- I have made a messenger group for myself consisting of only me. J Yes… it sounds weird, but this is a very handy way to manage my thoughts and ideas throughout the day. I jot down all my ideas in this and refer to it during my early work hours. I get a lot of inputs for my important tasks or when I am strategising or framing certain new service or a proposal for my clients.
Hope you got some inspiration from the perspectives shared.