The late Jim Rohn once said “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” As far as being concise goes, it’s an excellent summary of the necessity of managing that which would otherwise manage you: here’s my slightly longer take on 5 essentials with which – and how – to begin.
Picture this: it’s monday morning, and you need to schedule an urgent meeting with James. A few mouse clicks and a fist pump (optional) later, you have successfully laid claim to an hour in James’ half-empty smorgasbord of a calendar. Meanwhile over at his desk, brows knitted and shoulders raised, James is fretting to fit two other meetings into his schedule with rising concern for what his week will end up looking like – yet somehow ends up accepting your meeting request.
You would think it goes without saying, but forgetting to capture ideas while they are fresh is a rather veritable productivity no-no.
Within the confines our e-mail inboxes, we all rule supreme. Multi-level hierarchies? At our beck and call. Mark as unread? A mere right-click away. Sort by person? A cold stare alone might achieve it. This, of course begs the question: which kind of ruler are you – and how efficient is your style?
Would it surprise you to learn that, on average, we check our smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up? I picked this snippet up from a newspaper article a few days ago, and count it among a number of statistics that confirm the perhaps obvious extent to which information permeates our lives – and the lure it presents.
We’ve all been there: suddenly, you glance at the clock and discover you’ve spent the first hour or two of your day doing… everything but that which you ought to have done. A little cunning and a smidge of willpower, however, can help ensure this happens as rarely as possible: here are four practical suggestions on how to go about it.
E-mail. The humble, initially text-based, form of communication has been with us for decades, and during that time span been transformed from obscurity through prominence into the scourge of the workplace – which isn’t e-mail’s fault; rather, it’s ours.
Have you ever had the feeling of being under a deadline to get something important or urgent – or both, for that matter – done, yet you inevitably seem to get caught up in distractions of lesser import? The following is what occurs.
So, you have your to-dos neatly organized into hierarchies replete with contexts, flags, due dates, reminders and God only knows what else. Yet, somehow, it feels as if though the vast improvements you were expecting have eluded you. More likely than not, this stems from not paying an appropriate amount of attention to your to-be list.
As of this writing, I have just executed a spectacular, productivity-related facepalm at some 20,000 feet in the air. The culprit? My iPad. Hey, want to know where I’m headed? To a – wait for it – seminar on business productivity with iPads.