Some of you are probably on top of things already: you’ve been reflective on last year’s progress, you’re clear on this year’s goals and you’re ready to take action, getting more of the right things done every day.
Others of you may have already been swept away upon return to your office and may already be in a work trance just like last year… just going through the motions and keeping a routine that, despite its value or lack thereof, persists as a common thread from day to day in your work life.
If you’re suffering from the latter description and you would like to change it I recommend stopping everything – the madness, the monotony or the mundane – and be honest with yourself about where you are right now in your business or career. Then begin making changes to improve what’s not working for you. Start getting to where you want to be.
Instead of offering tips for what to do, I’m offering an opportunity for you to think as well.
I want you to be inspired to reach for more: more achievements, more happiness, more time, more effectiveness, more efficiency, more control over your day… more of anything you don’t have enough of right now.
I also want to motivate you to reflect upon yourself and your work day and question everything that’s not working. While your success is tied to your productivity, efficiency and effectiveness on the job, it is also tied to your love of what you do. So the tips that follow assume that you love what you do.
Ponder these three reflections as you peer into the upcoming year:
1.) Have a “fierce conversation” with yourself and get at the “ground truth” about where you are today and where you want to be.
I recently finished a wonderful book recommended by a friend and colleague of mine, Sharon Keys Seal, an executive coach and owner of Coaching Concepts. The book is called “Fierce Conversations” and it was written by Susan Scott. While the book is about “achieving success at work and in life one conversation at a time,” I can relate many of her concepts to work productivity.
Keep in mind that a “fierce” conversation is not about a threatening, cruel or menacing conversation. Susan Scott defines a fierce conversation as “one in which we come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real.” She defines “ground truth” as “what’s actually happening on the ground versus the official tactics” and you have to get at the ground truth before you can turn anything around.
So have a fierce conversation with yourself about your productivity at work. What’s really happening there? Get at the ground truth. Can you be more productive or more effective? Do you want to be?
2.) Writer Annie Dillard reminds us that “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” Make sure you’re spending your time wisely so that when you look back at your achievements of 2007 and forward to your goals for 2008, you know you’re on track and you feel exceptional about yourself. If you’ve created a list of goals to achieve this year, it matters how you outline your daily tasks to reach those goals. There’s a clear connection. It matters how you use your time. Don’t waste too much of it.
3.) One of my favorite quotes comes from the creators of Successories. It happens to be on my Successories mouse pad and I think it’s wonderful. Here’s what it says: “You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind… let it be something good.” And in addition to that I say, let it be something productive!
Productivity Expert, Leslie Shreve has been teaching business owners, executives and entrepreneurs how to unleash the power of their most productive work day for more than 7 years. Leslie is the creator of Taskology™, which focuses on teaching simple, logical and easy-to-use strategies for managing tasks, time, e-mail, paper and more, plus how you can maximize Outlook to support your success. http://productiveday.com