Ever worked with an executive coach?
19 years ago, I found someone to help me realize I was doing it ALL wrong.
Then, just 12 years ago, I took everything I’d learned, and started to serve leaders as a “voice of reason” and someone who “looks at things differently!”
I talked with one of my clients 1:1 today, and after the call I sent an email…
I took out some of the details, and left the rest for you!
Remember, there are three kinds of work:
- Catching up – uh oh
- Keeping up – stamina
- Getting Ahead – oh, the glory!
That last one can push on you two ways:
- Handle what is in my control
- Recognize what is out of our control
Here’s a little of my thinking…
You want to organize your Email Inbox. And to-do list. And meeting schedule. And calendar.
You crave a sense of control; you want to believe that what you WANT to do and what you HAVE to do can get done.
A long to-do list isn’t the problem.
Nor is email. Or too many meetings. Or a calendar out of control.
The problem is this:
The way you used to work doesn’t work anymore.
Brute force, sheer will, working after hours or on the weekend won’t help.
You’re going to have to change the way you work; how you THINK about how you work must change.
I was there too. I understand.
I got the call one evening – it was after 6pm, dark outside, and I was still at work – and Jodi asked, “Are you coming home for dinner?”
I hemmed and hawed; I made up an excuse about having SO MUCH to do and I suggested she go ahead and eat dinner without me.
It was Saturday night… and I wasn’t near done with all the work I’d had to do.
And so began my journey of becoming more productive.
- A class? I took it.
- A book? I read it.
- A notebook? I bought it.
I interviewed HUNDREDS of people asking the same question:
How do you manage your SELF so you have time to do everything?
And, it took me a few years to discover the secret…there are just a FUNDAMENTALS to managing myself, my time and my productivity.
Not just one; but not 100 either. (Good news!)
The plan I provide is simple to follow, and easy to implement.
Your success depends on deciding to put yourself first and keep your word.
Let’s start with your morning… the first 60 minutes of each day. Here are the three things you’ll have to do:
1. Wake up when you say you will, and review your THREE kinds of work for the day.
If you set your alarm for 6am, get up at 6. Not 6:30. Not 6:15. No Snooze. If you’re going to snooze, then set the alarm for 6:08, ok? Next, sit down at your desk or at a table with a glass of lemon water or coffee (doesn’t matter to me) and review your list. Look at your calendar. Yes, even check your email. Look for these three kinds of work. (Don’t DO any of them, just review it all.)
a. Catching up: What is the work that’s overdue that you need to DO or DELEGATE?
b. Keeping up: What meetings are scheduled? What discussions do you need to continue? What planning needs to be reviewed?
c. Getting ahead: Look at your calendar 30-90 days out and ask, “What will we wish we’d started thinking about sooner?” Whatever the answer, add a next step to your to-do list. Delegate some research. Send an email. Make a phone call and leave a message. Do something(s) today that move you ahead.
2. Commit. Tell someone on your team – via text, email or face to face – what your 3 PRIORITIES are for the day.
If you’re going to WIN, you need to let them know what you’re thinking about that THIRD kind of work: Getting Ahead. Clearly identify what you’re going to work on that is IN YOUR CONTROL and discuss or bookmark what’s OUT of your control. Too often, people get “hung-up” and don’t plan far enough into the future because they wave their arm and say, “It’s all unknown.” As a leader AND manager, your job is to identify and handle the 10%-20% that is IN your control and control it.
3. Set up to win. Organize your nutrition, transition and completion plans for the next 10 or so hours.
The energy and focus you have RIGHT NOW is based on the past 2-5 hours of movement…rest…nutrition. The more you set up yourself for those three, the better you’ll be at getting the important work done.
But, that’s a topic for another session…