Had the pleasure of presenting at this month’s PMI NB’s Lunch n Learn at the Venn Centre, in Moncton, NB this past week. What a blast! I titled this talk, “Defend the Do”. And, no, I don’t mean your hairdo. I’m talking about the “Do or Do Not, there is no Try” kinda Do.
We all have those days where we put on our favorite SuperJedi shirt but then by the end of the day, that question comes up.. You know what I’m talking about, The Question: WHAT DID I GET DONE? Those days where we feel like we didn’t get done what we intended to? If this happens to you more than 5 days a week, maybe it’s time for quick tune up!
Or maybe that’s where some well placed Defending Your Do can come in handy.
Let’s start with 3 tips I think even Yoda could agree to. Especially for my fellow over-commitment Jedi.
1.) Start your day with your Top 2 To Do.
Even if you have 25 things on your to do list, focusing in your Top 2 that are Non-Negotiable things, will help you defend those 2 things to completion. Often, our duration estimates are off, or we get interrupted, or distracted, or are simply too tired, or procrastinate – so, by coming back to your Top 2, you can help negotiate your day with what really matters to you.
Remember, if everything is critical, nothing is. Start by defending 2, and do as much as you can on those others, but those Top 2 are your Non-Negotiables that you hold strong on and defend to the finish.
2.) Audit yourself. Interruptions, Distractions, Procrastination.
If there’s one complaint I most often get, it’s “I am getting so distracted these days!” Well, what if I told you that you have more control over it than you think you do? These days, it’s about developing your skills in Focus Management. And no matter the strategy put into place, it’s always a good idea to get real about what is truly distracting you. If you’d like a quick tool on this, contact me, and I’ll send you a tool to help.
To build your own tool: Start with a sticky pad, and on each note, write out a specific and physical thing you do to procrastinate, or a specific interruption, distraction. Write out as many as you can. Circle your highest impacts to your day. On those stickies, create another note (or use the back of it) with some ideas as to how you can manage it.
Then choose ONE. And try it for a week. That’s right. Choose one thing to change up and implement it before you take on the world, SuperHero.
3.) Detail plan up to 2 weeks ahead. (Not 10.)
Again, I happen to have a handy-dandy tool that I’ve used on some pretty serious projects, but the point is, it works. Yes, I know, you hate Excel. But what if I told you you just need a calendar, a couple of pens and about 45 minutes? Maybe even a nice tea.
Here’s how to start breaking up with your overcommitment Hero.
Get real about where your hours are potentially allocated over the next 2 weeks. Why 2 weeks? Because we usually have enough information to do some more realistic planning estimates.
List our your activities per week, and to the right, figure out how many hours (include transportation, settling in time) needed per To Do. Add up the hours each day. If you are hitting beyond 10 hours for any work days, time to start getting creative with your Do. But at least you are starting to see truly where your hours are going. Next blog, I’ll give you some ideas around how to say NO, without damaging a business relationship.
More tips to come. Or of course, please contact me if you know any groups that could use some productivity Jedi workshops.
Until next time – Rose