What stops you from 'getting things done?'
Have you ever started your day with good intentions of completing a task or project only to find that by the end of the day you've hardly worked on it?
Or have you ever set a goal to attend a seminar, learn a new skill or just have more time out for you?
I'm sure you have. I'm not going to write a long-winded explanation about the art of procrastination or "putting things off" but what I will do is share with you the secret of actually "getting things done". Which is all about improving your organisation skills.
I believe most people overload themselves with too many unimportant tasks or commitments, which in the scheme of their day or life is really of little benefit.
Our society is so conditioned to "being busy". If you ask a colleague or friend "How are you?", generally they answer "I'm busy/flat-out/snowed-under", even on weekends! Yet what are they "busy/flat-out/snowed-under" doing?
"Being busy" can be totally different to "being productive". Personal organisation or self-management skills are the key to you moving forward.
Bill, a friend of mine is an extremely intelligent and creative person. He's "flat-out" in his role as the Marketing Manager for a large manufacturing company.
Having observed Bill in his working environment, he constantly allows anyone in his organisation to interrupt him. He believes in the "open door" policy.
He allows the day to evolve rather than planning what he wants to achieve.
Bill's office looks like a bomb-site so he consequently wastes immeasurable amounts of time searching for paperwork.
Bill has just turned forty - the 'mid-life' crisis decade.
He's married with two children 8 and 10 yrs old whom he loves dearly. Unfortunately due to his work commitments he does not spend as much time with them as he wants to. He spends most of his waking hours working for his organisation than anything else
He 'used to be' fit but now he's on the pudgy side. His excuse for not exercising is "I don't have the time". Starting work by 8.00 a.m. and finishing around 7.00 p.m. Who would have the time?
Bill is like many people I know who don't realise there is a better way.
Bill called me a few weeks ago. He'd decided he'd had enough of "never having time" and wants to get organised for living his life. (Prior to this, I used to offer unsolicited advice but he took no notice).
How Bill stopped procrastinating and "just did it"
This is what happened:
Bill cleaned out the clutter from his original "bombsite". We devised simple systems tailored to Bill's creative personality to cope with the mountains of paperwork. Now that Bill has systems he has been able to identify tasks which he can delegate to others.
We've worked out simple and easy to implement strategies for coping with interruptions. The "open door" is sometimes closed. Bill now uses a diary (that's right he never used one before) writes a daily list of things to do and scribbles all his notes in it. No more scraps of paper.
We worked out where Bill spends his time and prepared a weekly timetable so that he can work in a more structured way and get more done. Such as allocating specific times of the week for certain tasks, rather than letting them build up to unmanageable levels. Time for himself was also factored in.
He now gets up at 6.00 a.m. and goes to the gym near his home 4 mornings a week, has breakfast there and then blasts off to work. Those of you who exercise first thing in the morning know what I mean. Bill's now eating more nutritious food. Instead of the unhealthy restaurant food he will often have his lunchtime meetings in a "trendy caf" where he can choose what he eats.
The last time I spoke to Bill he said he had reduced his working hours. He was leaving the office by 6.00 p.m. the latest and was feeling so good he is considering training to compete in his gym's mini- triathalon.
How's that for "just doing it"?
You can too, you know. It's a matter of defining your priorities. In fact you'd find if you and other people in your organisation made the effort, you'd be happier, healthier and far more productive.
We often know what to do, even how to do it. All you need to do today is start.
Lorraine Pirihi is Australia's Personal Productivity Specialist and Leading Life Coach. Her business The Office Organiser specialises in showing small business owners and managers, how to get organised at work so they can have a life! Lorraine is also a dynamic speaker and has produced many products including "How to Survive and Thrive at Work!"
To subscribe to her free ezine visit www.office-organiser.com.au
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