Many of you are familiar with that famous line, the first one to email us the name of the group who sang that famous line will win a free ticket to the Fall Summit social on Friday evening October 14th. Email it to the email address at the bottom of this message.
We were sitting at lunch the other day and talking about a comment made to us by someone we did not know while we were in a common area of the office building where the Academy is located. Someone said, “It is a beautiful day and here we are stuck in an office.” Funny thing is we do not feel stuck and, hopefully, none of you feel stuck either. We are not just talking about feeling stuck in the office but more importantly stuck in any way at all.
By “stuck” we mean not moving forward, lack of progress and or frustration with not getting things done and implemented. Not a day goes by where we do not encounter hearing or reading from someone that a task is on my “To Do” List. We all encounter this either personally or with colleagues, staff and maybe even at home! The tools for success are there but some things never get started or they get started but never get finished.
There are many complex reasons why this occurs but let’s look at we think are the top three. One is no ability to see the result or goal, another is not knowing all the steps needed to accomplish that goal and the third reason we get stuck is our failure to control our TIME. Of course, failure to control time is the same as the fact that we all get “distracted” or more accurately we allow ourselves to be distracted.
Distraction control: Let’s start here because this is something we have total control over – our time and limiting distractions. Distractions come in many forms. We distract ourselves by getting involved in trivia. We are looking for something specific on the internet and we wind up Googling something else, then watch a video on it and then go to a website. Before long 15 minutes is gone and we barely remember where we started. So here it is, we let ourselves get distracted. Discipline is in order to control this all too common form of time robbery.
Another favorite is the infamous interruption. How do we stop that from occurring? We need to control our environment where we work so we can focus. Interruptions come in the form of people and electronic interruptions. We need to train all around us to not interrupt and provide a set method and set time to address important issues. On the electronic front, you need to make some decisions. Email and cell phones are the biggest concern. Compulsive checking of phone messages has given way to compulsively checking email and for some checking text messages or checking the latest new communications tools. All of this destroys the ability to focus and accomplish and implement.
Action: Immediately identify the top three distractions in your daily work environment. Phone, email, employees, you make the list and determine how to eliminate (control) them. Set a deadline and communicate the new system to those involved. For example, can anyone reach you by phone or do they have to go through a gatekeeper? Can you limit access to you by a DND button on your phone? Whatever it is it can be controlled as long as you decide to control it.
Your time will be controlled based upon what your agenda happens to be. You will use your time according to your agenda, someone else’s agenda or randomly because you have no agenda! Use your calendar and plan for the year, the month, the week, the day, the hour. Schedule everything. When to start and when to stop.
A small amount of time allocated to addressing this issue can result in a significant ability to get work done and get programs implemented.
UPDATE: ‘Jacquelyn Leuener’, from Brad Anderson’s office wins for submitting the first right answer! ROLLING STONES