Time Management

The Slight Edge: Just One More…

It’s a common perception that there is a big gap between “average people” and “successful people.” Some people are just able to get better results and make more money, yet they put in the same or even fewer hours. So what’s the difference? The answer lies in The Slight Edge, a concept from Jeff Olson’s book.

In major league baseball, a batter who gets two hits out of every ten times at bat is called a .200 hitter. This batter, within a very short period of time would likely be looking for a job outside of baseball or returned to the minor leagues. On the other hand, a hitter who gets just three hits out of every ten times at bat is a .300 hitter and is considered a great success, and if he continues to improve, he is destined for the Hall of Fame.

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Management Teams Aren’t Productive

Recently, while working with an executive team, I posed the question, “How productive are you?” They all looked at me as though I had three heads. Then gave me the list of things they are doing. Appointments and meetings they have scheduled. So I pressed on.

“What are you doing that is moving your team and/or the business forward or toward achieving the strategic goals?” Needless to say, what followed was a lengthy discussion.

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How rewarding is your environment?

Supervisors play a key role in any organization, creating a link between organizational goals and front-line employees. They have a dramatic impact on employee performance and behavior…especially motivation. Supervisors are agents of their organizations and have corresponding power and accountability.

The job of a supervisor (as we would define it) is to get work done through other people. And in order to be effective, they must understand how to create an environment that motivates people to be successful. They must understand how their environment rewards or punishes employee behavior.

There are two main reasons people behave the way they do.

  1. They do things because there is something in the environment rewarding their actions.
  2. They do things to avoid something that they don’t like.
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Increase Productivity: Slowing Down to Speed Up

I recently listened to an interview with Mario Andretti. When asked his best advice to business leaders, his response caught my attention. It was a way to increase productivity. He responded, “Slow down so you can speed up.”

Now you might be thinking that makes no sense. That doesn’t really apply to business.

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Plan to Rock in 2016!

We’ve all done it. It’s a new year. We make a resolution to diet and lose weight. You go to the store, prep all your meals, and create a plan to go to the gym. By the time Monday morning rolls around, you are ready to start your week! You eat healthy all week, go to the gym, and get plenty of sleep. You jump on the scale and BOOM! Down three pounds! Success!

Now it’s the weekend, and time for a reward. You’re feeling good. One bad meal won’t hurt you. Then it becomes two bad meals. And then Sunday, you don’t feel like prepping meals or planning gym time for the next week. And guess what happens? You are off track and unmotivated.

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What do you do with your time?

One of the hardest things to do in a job is to get work done through other people. It’s even more difficult when you don’t have direct authority over the people assigned to complete a task. Without a system, you can find yourself becoming victim to interruptions, everyday work flow, and the priorities of others.

When we ask people why they are not as efficient as they could be, common answers are range from not having enough time, not being in control of assignments, having too many priorities, and having constant interruptions.

People say they don’t have enough time, yet they have all there is! No one is making more. The real question is this: What you do with the time you have?

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Meetings that Go Nowhere

Have you ever attended a meeting where nothing was accomplished? A meeting where only a few of the people who attended actually talked? A meeting without established time lines that seemed to drag on hours longer than needed?

At some point, it’s likely you will be asked to facilitate a meeting either at work or at an association outside of work. Will the meeting you facilitate be appreciated or dreaded? We can help you with that. There are five key points that everyone who runs a meeting should follow. Yes, they might sound basic, but each improves the process, outcome, and experience of the meeting. And those attending will appreciate it too!

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Tired of bad meetings? You might be suffering from MAS!

We’ve all had those days. The days where we go from meeting to meeting, only to find that at the end of the day, we didn’t get anything done. We get frustrated and think… What a waste of time! I happens in every business – people schedule meetings that don’t need to happen; they invite people that don’t need to be there. And they waste time.

“MAS (noun): Mindless Accept Syndrome. An involuntary reflex in which a person accepts a meeting invitation without even thinking why. A common illness among office workers worldwide.”

In this video, David Grady explains that we allow our coworkers to steal from us. They steal something we can never get back. They steal our valuable time. Instead of protecting our time, we always accept and attend the meeting, only to find that our time would have been better spent elsewhere. Grady gives a comical example of bad meetings, and gives a few tips on how to make our meetings more productive.

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For all the women in our lives…

“Supporting the fighters, admiring the survivors, honoring the taken, and never ever giving up hope.”

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Are you productive or just busy?

Everywhere we go these days people have been telling us, “I’m so busy!”  Our first thought is “Great! It’s good to be busy.” But then we have to ask, “Are you busy or productive?” There is a difference.

How do you know if you are doing the right things at the right time?

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