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Productivity

Five Tips To Help You Get Better At Effective Management Skills For Productivity.

Effective Leadership Skills journal

No one is immune to falling victim to procrastination. Everyone puts things off from time to time, so there is always room to increase our effective management skills for productivity. Once we know how to deal with our tendencies to procrastinate properly we are well on our way to success. To help you combat procrastination and become more productive, here are the top five productivity hacks for procrastinators to get better at effective management skills for productivity.

 

Name It

The first thing that you need to do while building your effective management skills, is notice that you are procrastinating and acknowledge it. It is essential that you do this without judging yourself and without getting overly stressed that you don’t have enough time. The next time you notice you’re procrastinating, just say to yourself “procrastinating,” or “moving on.” This allows you to acknowledge your procrastination so you can move on.

 

Figure Out Where Your Time Goes

When we’re procrastinating, we all use different distractions to fill our time. To improve your productivity, you’ll need to identify what these are for you. Digital distractions are extremely powerful procrastination temptations that we need to try to resist consciously. To figure out where your time goes, start to write down exactly where your time goes.

The easiest way to track your time is to download an app like Rescue Time. Here is an app that works behind the scenes and once you install it you really don’t need to do anything with it but let it work. It will track your digital time, deliver your reports of where you went and how long you were there. You can block off time where you want no distractions etc. so you can build more effective management skills for productivity.

 

Make Time Your Best Friend

Most procrastinators frequently fool themselves when it comes to the passage of time. You might often get to the end of the day and not understand where the day went. If this is something that happens to you, then you need to shift your relationship with time. You’ll need to become aware of how long each task takes you, rather than making a guess. 

 

Improve Your Time Estimates

Often, as a procrastinator, you may tend to estimate how long a task will take without factoring in any time for your procrastination. This causes you to take much longer than expected to finish a task. If you know that you tend to procrastinate, factor this into your estimation, so you’re not always falling behind.

 

Meet More Deadlines

Often, the only time we manage to get around to focusing properly on your tasks is when you have a looming deadline. So, if you want to improve your focus and increase your productivity, you might want to start giving yourself more deadlines. The best way to do this is to get in the habit of promising to deliver certain things by a specific time/date.

 

Now What?

Even self-professed procrastinators can improve their productivity and build effective leadership management skills. With these five productivity hacks, you can start to decrease the amount of time you spend procrastinating and get more done.

Now, spend 5-10 minutes thinking through what tip are you going to use first? Then write it down and give your self a deadline of 1 week where you will then re-evaluate how you are doing?

Seriously, stop procrastinating and go do this.

More potential resources for you to check out:

 

Enjoy.

 

 

 

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Productivity tools, systems and processes

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“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”-–Paul J. Meyer.

I heard this statement that comes from the Economic Policy Institute.

Since the early 1970s, productivity (the amount of output per hour worked) has risen in America. Between 1973 and 2011, the productivity of the American worker has grown 80 percent. Why? My opinion, because we’re finding new tools and techniques to increase our focus and efficiency.

Below are some ideas and tools I have discovered over time that people I would say are productive have repeatedly talked about using. I believe I can learn a lot form people and their habits, tools they choose to use, their processes and the reason why they do and use what they do. So in the following, I have come to use many of the same and investigating using some others.

Police Your Own Internet Habits.
There’s a tool called StayFocusd to keep track of how much time you spend on various sites. I have a tendency to begin researching something online for a sermon I am preparing with the very best of intentions and then get lost viewing irrelevant content and wasting way too much time. To limit this, I turn on the browser extension to Chrome of StayFocusd where I keep up a list of sites I can get lost on for hours–YouTube, Ted Talks and Facebook are mine. StayFocusd alerts me after a pre-determined time that I have set up has passed and then blocks the offending sites to help me resist temptation and stay focused on the task at hand. Another tool I will mention before leaving this part is RescueTime which I have a post previously about this. This is a tool worth checking out as well.

Clear Your Mind, Define Your Focus
Wendy Lea, CEO of getting Satisfaction and principal at The Chatham Group, shared two tips that keep her focused, energized, effective and productive both personally and professionally. “There are two things I do to get the energy, capacity, and focus I need to not only be efficient, but effective. Personally, I take 15 minutes every morning for contemplation and to empty my mind. I take a bag full of thoughts I need to be cleared and each morning I pick one out, read it, and send it down the river near my house. Watching the thought float away really helps clear my mind, reorient things and increase my focus for the rest of the day,” said Lea, who successfully juggles several roles across various companies including CEO, investor, advisor, mentor, and principal.

“Professionally,” Lea added, “I send an email to my team each Monday morning with the top five things I will be focused on for the week. This really keeps me on track and gives me the focus I need. These two things set the pace for me every day, both in my personal and professional life.”

Cut Back On Meetings
Randy Komisar, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), said he keeps productive by being diligent about meetings–sticking to the allotted time and only scheduling in-person meetings when it’s absolutely necessary. “I leave meetings at their allotted end time regardless of whether they are finished,” said Komisar, who authored the book, Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model. “I do not reschedule an appointment for a more important one unless it is an emergency. If an email will do, I don’t make a call; if a call will do, I don’t have a meeting; if a 30-minute meeting is enough, I don’t schedule an hour.”

All About Evernote
Dylan Tweney, the executive editor at VentureBeat, said Evernote, the popular note-taking and archiving service, is his go-to productivity tool. “I use Evernote to collect everything I might need to save for later, with the exception of emails–Gmail is fine for that. I store all of my important documents–from notes to interviews–in Evernote. I also use Evernote tags as a kind of to-do list: I have a set of tags that I can use to rank things that need to happen immediately or that I’m waiting for someone else to finish: (“1-next,” “2-soon,” “3-later,” “4-someday,” and “5-waiting”). When I get an email that I need to act on but can’t respond to immediately, I send it to my private Evernote address and then rank it,” said Tweney. “Finally, I use Instapaper liberally to save articles that I run across during the day, but don’t have time to read during the busy hours. It sends stories to my Kindle automatically, so I always have something interesting to read on the train ride home or in the evening. That helps keep me focused on work, even when people are sharing fascinating things on Twitter and Facebook all day.”

Get Tunnel Vision
Kevin O’Connor, the serial entrepreneur who founded both DoubleClick and more recently FindTheBest, a data-driven comparison engine, said he makes an effort to focus on only the top few things that really are going to move the needle. “Most people tend to focus on the 100 things they should do, which can be overwhelming and result in the failure to actually accomplishing anything of importance. I try to focus on the three to five things I absolutely have to do. I don’t get distracted by those ninety-seven other unimportant things that don’t ultimately give to my success or the success of my company.”

Get Physical
Patrick Dolan, the EVP and COO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), said what keeps him productive, focused and energized is going for runs in the morning. “I love to run in the morning before I get into work. Running clears my mind, gets the blood flowing and ultimately makes me much more focused and productive. During my morning runs, I try to come up with solutions to any unresolved problems at work, brainstorm new ideas, and really prioritize my work in terms of the top things I want to carry out that day. By the time I get into work, I already have a set of focused priorities, and I also have the energy to make them happen.”

Put Email In Its Place
Anne-Marie Slaugher, a professor of politics and international relations at Princeton University and author of the popular article published last year in The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” said basing your work day around the never-ending flow of incoming emails is a huge productivity drain. “My principal productivity tip is that if you are caught up on your email, your priorities are in the wrong place. An extra of hour of email will do very little in the long run, but that hour could be spent reading to your kids before bed, cooking a meal, or taking a walk and clearing your head–all far better choices,” said Slaughter, who previously served as Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department. “More generally, email puts you in response mode, where you are doing what other people want you to do, and not send mode, where you are deciding what you want to do and taking action.”

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How to set goals isn’t as bad as you think

Goal setting

Every year seems to progress quicker and quicker to me. I’m not sure if it is because I am getting older and realizing there is so much more I want to do and accomplish before I can no longer do and accomplish my goals here on earth? This quickness is the reason it is so important that we set goals for what you want to carry out, now. What follows will be ways that I follow when I set goals.

Start with the right Objectives and Key Results

Enjoy this TED talk where John Doerr shares about OKR.

Objective and Key results (OKR)

So now that you have some fundamentals to start with, the “Why” of what you want to do. Write down your values, your objectives, and key results today as you continue to go through this blog, keep all of this in the forefront.

Start with the end in mind.

I think it is important to start with your end picture, the “Why” of what you want and where you are going. Once I have the end picture, I start just 5 years out. Then I move my picture to 3 years out, then 1 year out and lastly 3 months out.

Be realistic.

Be ambitious because it is a goal after all but still realistic. If you are a ministry of 100 and set your goal to be 1000 in a year, that is not realistic. Being realistic helps you during the journey to stay encouraged and fight that discouragement off that happens so easily during life and ministry.

Re-evaluate and revisit.

Just because you set your goals, doesn’t mean that 5-6 months down the road you won’t be swamped with life and ministry or work. There was a study done by the University of Scranton that says 25% of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first week, and another 1/3 don’t even las a month! Lastly, only 8% make it all year long. Knowing this, I put a date in the calendar 2 weeks down the road to alert me to re-evaluate how am I doing with the goals that I wanted to carry out. I will revisit each goal to see that it is still as important to me as it was once before when I set it as a goal.

4 Key Components to help Your Goals to Last.

Developing your Leadership Skills will require you to be good at making and setting goals. So here are 5 Components to help you in developing this leadership skill.

  1. Know that there is a Genuine Possibility. 
    • We have to believe we can do it or we will fail.
    • It is reported that those in their 20’s (39%) will accomplish more than someone in their 50’s (14%). A big driving factor in this is those who are older replay their failures over all the years rather than someone in their 20’s with not as many years of failures to draw upon.
    • Take ones limiting belief, “I’m too old”, with “it is never too late”, a possibility belief. Another limiting belief, “I can’t change”, with “I can learn and grow”.
  2. A Fresh Start
  3. Have an Effective Design
    1. Stop setting goals like – “Lose weight”. That is just too wide. This type lacks accountability, has no deadline etc. It is ineffective!
    2. Instead of saying, I will take a vacation this year, change it to I will go to Hawaii within 6 months from now.  Take them from being an aspiration to being something that is actionable.
    3. Use the S.M.A.R.T.E.R, system.
      • Specific. Measurable and include a number when you can.
      • Measurable
      • Actionable. Starts with a verb.
      • Risky. Out of our comfort zone but not delusional.
        • You see, it’s the risk involved in your goals that drive the results and compels the creative energy necessary to accomplish your objective.

          There is a linear relationship between the degree of goal difficulty and performance.” — Edwin A. Locke & Gary P. Latham

          You see, looking over the results of over 400 studies, two men named Edwin and Gary observed that the performance of participants with the riskiest goals was 250% higher than those with the less risky goals. In short, when we are presented with a challenge, we as human beings always tend to rise to the occasion but take away the challenge, and we naturally fall back to our default of “taking it easy.”

      • Time Key. This is when you assign a date.
      • Exciting. If it doesn’t rev you up you probably won’t stay with it over the long haul. It becomes a project and not a goal. A project isn’t exciting it just needs to be done.
      • Relevant. Is it relevant to the season of my life at this time?
        • If we’re going to succeed, we need goals that align with the legitimate demands and needs of our lives.” — Michael Hyatt
    4. Intrinsic motivation (an internal motivation). 
      • Example of a more compelling goal:
        • I want to get in shape. Instead

Allow me to recommend a book titled: Essentialism by Greg McKeown. I recommend this book as you prepare to set your goals because too often people set way too many goals and never fully reach any of them but instead have a ton of half started goals.

If you want to share, please add some of your goals that meet this framework here in the comments section. So do away from those New Years resolutions and commit to a system that will help you to accomplish your goals.

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Effective Goal Planning, ask these 5 questions.

strategic-leadership

At the time of this blog post going live, we are getting ready to enter 2015 in just one day. Goal setting is just a natural part of the thinking at this time but it should be an active part of our daily lives throughout the year.

I have 5 questions for each of us to think through as we set new goals that will help us make the goals and not just crowd up calendars with great ideas, journals with lofty thoughts, but a plan that if we work through these 5 questions with will help us to achieve results.

1. What is the specific work or effort required to achieve your goal?

2. What resources or dependencies do you need to help you succeed?

3. What is your action plan to achieve this goal?

4. What time investment is actually required? What should your schedule look like to support achieving this goal? (Can you really be a world champion bull rider if you only practice 5 minutes a day?)

5. What obstacles will you face and how will you respond?

As you can see, if you answer fully these questions, this process is incredibly revealing as to what it takes to achieve your goals.

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My method of delegation.

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The more I talk with people the more I realize delegation is not as understood as I assume. It is with this new understanding that I want to offer up the method of delegation that I have been taught over the years. I am not claiming this is original (hopefully a lot of people use these steps) and it is only one way, but it is mine and it works for me when followed.

Too often delegation is poorly executed, frustrating both the person delegating and the person being delegated to. There should be a benefit for both parties but often one or both parties feel dissatisfied.

Here is one approach to delegation:

1. Define. You need to know exactly what you are going to delegate. Don’t be vague.
2. Plan. Write down how you will present this task. List potential concerns and objections
3. Select. Which of your team has the best skills to deliver the results.
4. Explain. Tell the person why the task is important and why they are right for it.
5. Define success. Be clear about what success looks like, if possible with a measurable target.
6. Set limits. Let them know what they are accountable for and where they can get help. Don’t forget that last part. Oftentimes after delegation has started the person working on it runs into a snag and has no idea where to turn to for some help or guidance. Here is one way you separate delegation from dumping.
7. Invite doubt. Many volunteers start excited when delegated to but then feel that expressing doubt about the project or their ability is a sign of weakness. Encourage them to ask questions and assess the project on their own terms. Also take note of the previous point in number six.
8. Get commitment. Don’t expect immediate agreement. Give them time to think it over. Never rush this stage.
9. Agree. Set milestones and time lines and how you will monitor progress. Get them to suggest as much of this as possible.
10. Recognize and reward. Successful completion of a delegated project or task should mean something. Be clear from the outset how much value you place on it and reflect that in the reward you offer.

There you go, 10 steps I find useful when I want to delegate task and responsibilities

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