Archive for the ‘Setting Priorities’ Category

7 Self Sabotaging Behaviors That Steal My Productivity!

December 7th, 2010 4 comments

This is a busy time of year.  I have my usual tasks or jobs.  But, all of a sudden, I find I have so much more to do.  My plate has gone from being pleasingly full, to heaping, and stuff falling off the edges and not getting done.

I begin to realize that I had better find a better way to prioritize, or get a bigger plate. I start to realize that I have been practicing self sabotage. If I don’t get a handle on it, I feel frustrated and overwhelmed.  Have you ever felt this way?

One thing I have figured out about myself.  When I get really busy, it is easy for me to fall into unproductive habits.  I start to feel like a hamster, spinning her wheel as fast as she can, and going no where!  I start experiencing negative feelings like frustration, and being overwhelmed.  Left unchecked, and I slide into being depressed!

I have found, I sabotage myself with certain behaviors.  I create impossible situations by taking on too much. The can’t say no syndrome. In the end, I get less done and everyone is frustrated with me.  By not saying no, I have let people count on me to get what they wanted me to do, done.

Here are a few of my self sabotaging antics which steal my focus and make me less productive.  See if you can relate.

1.  Misuse of Email.  Instead of pulling off the important information I need to complete my work, I start reading unimportant emails.  Then I am completely distracted.  I end up burning my productive time doing an unproductive activity.

2. The times that I procrastinate and put off doing important tasks I end up having to catch up later.  I know better.  The more I play catch up the longer it takes to reach my goals.

3. When I allow myself to get into the mentality of going from crisis to crisis.  I start thinking in the mode of crisis management.  Bad decisions are made in that mind set.

4. If I  start switching from one task to another without full concentration on any one task.  I get hopeless distracted.  I accomplish nothing. This is why multi-tasking doesn’t work for me.

5. I can really derail myself by allowing distractions such as day dreaming, stress, guilt, anger and frustration to decrease my concentration.  Again, nothing productive gets done.

6. When I don’t get quality sleep,  I feel tired.  I get into the caffeine trap.  Tired, more caffeine, tired, more caffeine.  My thinking is unclear and my production is low.

7. I am clear off the track if I start getting involved in other people’s dramas.  I really try to steer clear of this.  I don’t like my own drama, why should I participate in another person’s drama?

Learning to not self sabotage myself is a very important skill to master in my life. It adversely effects every area of my life. It not only leads to overwhelming frustration, stress, and guilt.  It also affects my ability to set and achieve effective my goals.

I know it takes self discipline, which is the key to getting myself back on the road to successful habits.  I am a person who enjoys keeping my plate pleasingly full.  I’m always working on mastering my productive work habits.  It always feel so good to accomplish my tasks.  Then I have time for distractions!

What do you do to master your day? Leave me a comment and let us know what helps you!

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How to Set Priorities for More Success

October 18th, 2010 1 comment

I have worked with many different people in my business career.  I have come to realize, we are not hatched from the womb knowing how to prioritize our work or our lives for success.  It is a learned skill.

If this important tool isn’t learned, we are left to muddle through life focusing on unproductive activities.  This leads to under achievement and frustration.  When we take the time to learn how to prioritize our work, it opens up a whole new world of achievement and success.  Here are three things to consider when setting priorities.

1.  We must understand the rule of 20/80 in our activities.  20% of our activities will account for 80% of our success.  Out of the 10 items on our lists of things to do, 2 of those items are of higher value than the other eight.  Those 2 are responsible for the achievements of our desired effect we are working to accomplish.  How do we know which are our 2 things?

2.  We must understand the big picture.  Meaning, we have to know the end result we are striving to accomplish, and what it takes to get there.  If we don’t know our target, we will wander aimless, never getting close to our desires.  Only by seeing the big picture will the best path appear.

It’s like hiking.  If we only stare at the end of our shoes, we will trip and fall over every obstacle in our path.  If we raise our eyes above our feet we will see the path ahead.  We will know, in advance, when the path has things that will hinder our progress, such as tree roots or limbs that will smack us in the head.  We will see clearly the path that leads to our destination.

It is important to set a time when we can block out our distractions and set goals.  Goal setting gives us the path to walk.  To set those goals effectively, we have to be clear on our desired outcome, or the destination we are striving for.

When we have done this, we are able to ask ourselves, what is the most valuable use of my time now?  An entrepreneur and business owner will ask themselves, what activities will bring the most profits?

3.  Setting our priorities also includes knowing how our work affects others.  Are we impeding another person’s progress by not completing our work? There isn’t anything more frustrating for a team than having to wait for someone else to accomplish a task that directly affects completing their own tasks.

For instances, lets say, we are working on an assembly line and building a new car. The workers responsible for installing the engine can’t put it into the car if those responsible for the frame haven’t done their job.

If it doesn’t impact our results in a positive way, or is holding someone else back from completing their job, it might deserve to be a low priority item on our list.

Understanding how to organize our work with proper attention to our high impact priorities is a valuable skill to have.  Now is the time to polish up this skill.  It will move us faster to our destination of success!

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Tony Robbins – How to Develop your Goals & Action Plan for 2010

December 13th, 2009 3 comments

Tony RobbinsWe are in the throes of a very busy holiday season.  Most of us are busy individuals, without the extra hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Before we know it, the new year, 2010, will be here.  Have you had an opportunity to sit down and decide what your 2010 is going to look  like, in all areas of your life?  Most of us will say “no”, I haven’t found the time to do that. To be honest with you, you will never “find” the time for developing your goals and action plan.  You will have to “make” the time for this important goal setting endeavor.

Making our famous New Years resolutions doesn’t hinge on something magical happening at the first of the year that helps us keep them, or break them.  Starting a new year with goals and an action plan is like looking out at a new field of snow, crisp and clean, where no one has walked before, and blazing your trail through it to what you want.  A clean slate, so to speak.  The magic happens any time we make compelling goals, develop a plan with lasting results that work, and take action on them!  This can be done any time of the year.  If it is done correctly, that’s when the magic happens, because as Tony Robbins would say, “Where focus goes, energy flows”.

I have a 7 minute video from Tony Robbins that I really enjoyed.  I plan to make some time in my busy schedule before January 1, 2010 to find out what I did in 2009 that worked and what didn’t work.  I want to have my goals for 2010 planned and ready to go to launch my best year ever!  I encourage you to do so, also.

Enjoy the video.  Feel free to share it with your network of family, friends and business associates!  Let’s all rock in 2010.  The world will be a better place for it.

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Making Money Using the Value G.A.P.

August 25th, 2009 No comments

Have you ever wondered what the secret is to manifest money?  Unless you are attracting all the money you want in your life, you might have ponder this question from time to time.  Why does it look so easy for some people to make money and it seems so hard for others?

Wealthy people seem to know, inherently, that money, wealth, income, and cash flow are indicators.  Money is a score card of what they are doing and how well they are doing it. It is a indicator of how well they are meeting their customers needs.  They know if they don’t add value to others the dollars and success will not flow to them.

Giving value to what you are doing to make money is like magnetizing steel.  When you magnetize steel, it will pick up far more than its own weight in metal.  Value is a magnet for money.  Value is, also, the lead indicator of wealth.

How do you create value?  Value is created when you give goods or services that are relevant in the eyes of the market you working in.  To add value, it must fill the GAP, which stands for Goals, Activities and Priorities.  Value, in hindsight, is anything a person would do or action they would take to keep something they already have, or to get something they want.

Value is always about the balancing of two things.  It is either about increasing something your customer wants more of, or decreasing something they want less of.  The question then becomes, “how does my product or service increase what my customers desires or decrease what my customers want less of in their life?”

Here’s a technique you can use to decipher this.  You may have heard of the Ben Franklin close.  It’s a clarification process developed by Mr. Franklin many years ago.  It can be used to weigh the pros and cons of any decision or in this case, to clarify the value you propose to add for your customer, or decrease something they want to take out of their life.

Take a sheet of paper, draw a big T on it.  On the one side of the T, write “increase”.  On the other side of the T write “decrease”.  Take your product or your service that you are offering the public and write what it is you provide on the appropriate side.  This is called mapping your value.  When you can map out what your value is to others, it will help you to act on providing more of it.  You will become a master at increasing value to those that buy your products or services.  You will attract more money.  If you don’t master this, your money making abilities will suffer.

Doesn’t it make sense to ask yourself every day, “What ways do I specifically add value to individuals in my marketing niche?”  Fill the G.A.P. and you are on your way!

Priorities – How to Set Them

August 10th, 2009 1 comment

Setting priorities can be one of the most misunderstood skill that can plaque your success in all areas of your life.  Whether you are going to school, starting your own business, or working for Corporate America, inadequate prioritizing skills will leave you ineffective.

The Pareto Principle states that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your productive work.  Let’s put it another way.  If you have 10 items on your “to do” list, 2 of those items will be more worthwhile than the other 8 put together.

To accomplish great things in your life and career you must concentrate on those 2 activities of best value.  That is where the interesting part begins.  How do we identify those high priority things?  There are several different methods you can use.  It is all a matter of personal preference.  What works best for you?  Let’s look at these different methods.

Stephen Covey’s Quadrants

Stephen Covey wrote a book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  There are many things in this book that are important and one of them is his Quadrant Method of Prioritizing.  Divide your paper into 4 quadrants.  At the top of each square put QI, QII, QIII and QIV.  In square one labeled QI, put your important and urgent tasks.  In quadrant QII should be your tasks that are important but not urgent.  In quadrant QIII are the tasks that are not important but urgent and last but not least QIV you should put the tasks that are not important and not urgent.

Dr. Covey tells us that highly effective people make time for the QII activities, and by doing that can reduce the time spent in the other quadrants. 

The ABC Method

The Franklin Planner uses the ABC method.  A is your vital activities, B is for your important activities and C is for the easier tasks.  After you have divided up your activities they are further boiled down to A1, A2, A3 and B1, B2, B3 etc.  Franklin planner and Dr. Covey have a professional relationship and it shows in that A, B, and C are very similar to Dr. Covey’s QI, QII and QIII activities.

Electronic Methods

It should be mentioned here that there are electronic methods that can be used to prioritize.  They are available on electronic devices such as; computers with Microsoft Outlook, Palms, and Smart Phones.  They work in similar manners to each other.

Time Versus Payoff Method

This is quite simple.  Each task is weighed by the payoff you will receive from it versus the time it takes to accomplish it.  Tasks with the highest payoff and in the least amount of time would be done first.  Low payoff tasks that take the most amount of time should be left for last delegated to someone else, or not done at all.

Whether you decide to use one of the methods above or you decide on another method, the most important thing is to write down your tasks that need your attention.  All of them.  If they are written down, they are visual and concrete and you can go from there to decide your most important tasks.  Where most people fail is in writing them down.  That can be a recipe for poor performance.