Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Productivity, Efficiency and Organization from Sitting on the Beach?

For the first time ever, I got to experience a whole afternoon relaxing on the beach... alone. Yep, I didn't go with a big group of friends, or family members, where my attention is typically more focused on being social, than actually taking in the insanely humbling yet mind-blowing majestic-ness, of the ocean, (yes, I'm making up words again). I experienced the most overwhelming feeling of joy and pure gratitude, starting the moment my feet hit that hot sand. Now here I am, a couple of days later, and I can't help but think of so many clients I've worked with, and I'm sure a huge percentage of the population, that haven't taken time for themselves in years. Ugh- that kills me! It's absolutely critical to take time to rejuvenate, and renew our energy. When you go months on end, running around town, taking care of work, your family, your pets, your house and on and on, and never stop to build your energy, it's quite likely you're not operating at your highest level, and probably haven't been for a while. My simple analogy would be a car- if you're not changing the oil, checking the air in the tires, or warming it up before you speed off on a cold day, your poor little car is pushing itself, but it's not going to perform at it's optimal potential.
When is the last time you took time for YOU, and YOU alone? It's time to do something that allows you to fully unplug and hit the reset button on your hard-working self! This restoration of energy is absolutely proven to be connected to your productivity and your ability to function at peak performance- and it's not like I'm telling you to go organize your paperwork here... Shift your thinking if you believe it's better to run this rat race and not stop, and schedule a YOU day, (except it'd technically be called a ME day), today!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stressful Moments in Procrastination...

I can't tell you how many people tell me they're "big-time" procrastinators... My thought on that is, who isn't? I seriously can't think of anyone who, for the majority of the time, completes tasks ahead of schedule. I think anyone who does, must be superhuman or something, because it's just so against our natural tendencies. PLUS, it's practically a law of the universe that we're all pretty much going to be procrastinators- ever hear of Parkinson's Law? Tim Ferriss talks about it in his book, The 4 Hour Work Week. (Yes, that's me with the bold and adventurous author himself). It states that's a task will expand to the time alloted to complete it. In other words, if I ask you for a one page write up on your hopes and dreams, and I say have it back to me in three days, you'll get it done in three days. If I ask for it in three weeks, guess when I'll get it- at the end of the three weeks. It's so true, isn't it! It doesn't matter on the complexity of the task, it's the time given to complete it! I think this is pretty funny, considering many of us walk around calling ourselves procrastinators like it's a bad thing. Let's just let go of the guilt and accept it. Maybe I'll even start a club, Procrastinators Anonymous, where we can all tell stories of the ridiculously stressful moments we've gotten ourselves into, all because we put off doing something to the very last minute. What would be your worst story?
The best thing to do, considering the FACT that we're all procrastinators, is to operate as efficiently as possible throughout our days, maximizing our minutes, keeping an organized desk that's devoid of distracting piles of paper, and just immerse ourselves into our projects and to do lists. Find ways to trick yourself of the deadlines if you have to, all to create a greater sense of urgency. It's time to to get off email, pick our most important tasks for the day, and knock them each out, one at a time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Must we be Connected to our Cell Phones ALL the TIME?

Seriously, what's up with people talking on their cell phones at the gym? Last night, there was a guy sitting at one of the weight machines, not lifting, just texting. Now yes, I might be one of those people who believe we don't need to be connected to our phones 24/7, but even for those who would disagree with me, is it really necessary to bring it to the gym? Can we not go ONE hour without being on our phones? Hey, I'll admit, I am all for talking and driving, (assuming you're a decent driver to begin with), because it is definitely a great time to catch up with people or return calls, however, trying to workout and talk or text just don't easily fit together, hand in hand.
Multi-tasking, no matter how hard you don't want to believe me on this, actually SLOWS down the time it takes to complete our tasks. We think we're being faster, more efficient or getting more done in less time, but that just isn't the case! When we try and use the same part of our brain for two different tasks, the amount of brain power available to each task is significantly decreased. It makes sense, right? So practice doing ONE thing at a time- including working out, writing a blog or listening to your friend tell a story on the phone... This will increase our effectiveness in whatever we're doing- so go get buff and stay off the phone while you're at it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fast Pitch Networking

Lessons Learned from a Blogging Organizer

Wow, I just had a big realization reading through some other really great blogs recently... my blog posts are BORING! They're too informative, which is ok, but I need to be telling more funny stories that I'm experiencing in my work days, or situations that come up with clients I'm working with, and THEN connect this to being organized, or more efficient, productive, etc... There's no mistakes if we learn from them, so I'm going to take this mini-epiphany and work harder at spicing up my posts... Sound good? Hope so, because it's all for you, my fine friend!
Well yesterday, I was totally committed to blogging, (since it's been a while as you may have noticed), but wouldn't you know it, I had full-on bloggers block! One fellow blogger friend suggested I repeat "bloggers block" 100 times, quickly, to stir up my brain and get those creative juices flowing... such a great idea, but after repeating it about 8 times, I started laughing at hearing myself do this, so I had to stop! His second suggestion, which I personally think is much more fun, was to have a glass of wine and forget about...all the while, a lovely bottle of Wild Horse pinot noir stared at me, as I actually contemplated his suggestion at 11:30 in the morning on a Thursday... NOPE- I didn't give in for those of you who were wondering, but someday, I'll blog after a good glass of wine, and hopefully, you'll just never know the difference!

Ok, anyway, what the heck is my point in all this rambling- ahh, such a good question. I have two points, the first being- take time to laugh in your busy days. It's hard to be seriously focused and productive for 8 straight hours, (or however long you wild workaholics are spending at the office), and my second point is, sometimes you can't force it- 'it' being, whatever important activity it is that you're working on. My brain was not in a writing mood yesterday, and had I forced it, it would have taken me twice as long with half the success. NOW, I am also not in any way suggesting that you simply only work when you're "in the mood," but sometimes, figure out if there's another task you can be working on, so you don't just spin your wheels and waste time. Of course if you find that you are rarely in the mood to work on important tasks, I would take some time to discover whether or not you're in the right profession...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What are your Tasks Costing You?

When it comes to prioritizing, the simplest advice I give clients is to focus on "bottom line" activities. What are those tasks, that when you're at your peak performance, are/will be generating income? It is so easy to get overwhelmed with the minutia of running a business, but in the heat of it all, stop and focus on those activities that most closely impact your bottom line. This is effective prioritization at its finest!
I would suggest everybody, right now, take just 5 minutes, and list out all of those activities that cost you money, and those to dos that make you money. Hey, you're either making money or losing money- so let's get everyone very clear on what it is that is making the dough! Stick your list with these activities in your vision for a couple of weeks, so you are constantly aware of when you're working on things that are unimportant, versus income generating.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Managing Lots of Tasks and To dos?

Ok, remember how I was shocked to know that the whole world didn't know about Jott.com? Well in order to keep you fine people up to speed on other cool resources, I'm going to share one that's awesome for managing tasks, especially when you feel like you are overwhelmed with lots of different types of tasks. www.TaDaList.com is a free, online application, (is application the right word there?), anyway, for listing out all of your tasks. You can create numerous lists under different category headings, and can email yourself or others the lists, which keeps things even easier of course! This can work great if you're delegating tasks to an assistant, because the entire list can be emailed off, versus, in Microsoft Outlook for example, where you can only email individual tasks... Who wants an inbox that's likely already overflowing with to dos, to be flooded with more to dos from the boss' task list? Basically, it's a great little tool for housing all kinds of to dos, that can help unload your brain of all the tasks you're storing... Remember- your brain is for thinking and creating new ideas, and not for storage!! Check it out!