We all make the choice to suffer from procrastination. Procrastination is born from one, or a combination of, the following:
Trying to be a perfectionist.
A lack of self-discipline.
The inability to fight off distractions.
A lack of specific goals and fear.
How many times do you start the day knowing what you want to do, but eventually come up with a reason why you just can’t get started and so you put it off? Whatever your reason might be, the fact is, you are procrastinating.
Left unchecked, procrastination can be a career and/or business killer. Here are 3 useful tips to help you overcome procrastination: Continue reading →
At the beginning of each week, sit down and review where you are as compared to the goals you need to achieve. Based on this review, determine what activities you need to initiate – these activities will determine where “you” will use your time. To the extent practical and possible, your activities (tasks or to do’s) should fall into one, several or all of the following four categories: Continue reading →
From my coaching and mentoring experiences, one of the biggest challenges those who aspire to be leaders consistently face is how to improve their productivity by delegating tasks to other team members. Many do it wrong and eventually throw their hands up in frustration and end up doing the work themselves and then…complain about it.
So the “stuff” I’m thinking about this week (and you should be also) is how to become effective when delegating to others. Think – and more importantly act – on these key delegation points this week:
Poor delegation creates frustration and confusion, destroying any effort on your part to be productive. Train others to do the tasks that take you away from more important things. A team that can’t develop their skills fully will ultimately hurt your business.
Delegation, when done the right way, is one of the most effective tools that successful leaders have. If you can live with the worst possible outcome, then you can delegate the project.
When delegating, choose someone who has exhibited the right work ethic and attitude.
When delegating, be sure to describe the task as clearly and as simply as possible. Invite and encourage questions and feedback.
When delegating, set clearly defined expectations along with a target completion date.
When delegating, don’t turn your back on the project just because you think you’ve delegated it. Periodically check in to see how they are doing and whether or not they need your assistance.
Successful people just do more things than others do. They take more action; they are not risk averse. Clear goals drive their activity. They stay busy working on the right things at the right time. They also have important common characteristic: They take action.
Tom Peters, the author of “In Search of Excellence”, reported in this book that an important common quality of the executives he observed was what he called a “bias for action.” They realized that the future belonged to those who were action-oriented, willing to take the right risks at the right time and committed to following a plan.
Having clear and specific plans are necessary to make sure that whatever action you take is effective and achieves the desired outcome. A plan also makes it easy for you to pay attention to the details as well as the big picture. Here are five key points to take into account when you are ready to “act”:
Set Checkpoints – All action should be built around a plan and for the plan to work you need to have interim checkpoints to measure progress.
Responsibility and Roles – For any plan and the needed action to be successful, everyone must know the following: What they must do, by when, how to do it and why they do it.
Ground Rules – Make sure everyone knows the parameters of their responsibilities; when they should seek help and how problems need to be resolved.
Feedback – Make certain that periodic, objective and specific feedback is given when needed. People work best when they are communicated with about their performance and what they can do to either sustain it or improve it.
Celebrate – When the goal has been achieved, celebrate and recognize it. It doesn’t have to be a “state dinner” type celebration. Just take the time to recognize what’s been done and say thank you.
The most important single factor needed to act effectively is “self-discipline”. Whenever I talk about self-discipline, I always refer to the definition offered by Thomas Huxley (1825-1895) which states, “Self-discipline is doing what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it even though you may not feel like doing it.” Even small steps acted upon in a consistent manner will lead you to success.
Procrastination results from one or a combination of the following: trying to be a perfectionist; a lack of self-discipline; a lack of self-confidence; the inability to fight off distractions; a lack of specific goals (and a commitment to them); and fear.
How many times do you start the day knowing what you want to do (and should do), but eventually come up with a reason why you just can’t get started and so you put it off? You know, you say to yourself things like: “the timing is just not right,” or “let me get these few little (usually less important) things done first.”
Whatever your reason may be, the fact is you are procrastinating. And, that’s bad for you, your company, your team and your clients/customers. Left unchecked, procrastination can be a career and/or business killer. Here are 3 useful tips to help you: Continue reading →
There are times when most of us run the risk of being swept away into the “crisis of the moment” and disappear into that dark hole that gets described away with that famous comment: “Where did they day go?” The usual follow up comment is, “I’m beat and I have no idea if I accomplished anything.”
For those of you who are not sure what I’m describing and for those of you who don’t want to face up to the reality of the issues, consider if this scenario sounds familiar:
Do you find that during any given week you waste time and money and miss opportunities?
Do you find yourself involved in “fire-fighting” moving from crisis to crisis?
Are you very busy, running from task to task and meeting to meeting but still see no progress being made?
To stop distractions from taking your time and energy, use any of these 10 tactics: Continue reading →
Well, summer is almost over and it’s time to get “re-charged” and focus on finishing the balance of the year strong to gain momentum into 2016.
The biggest challenge we all have is that there’s never enough time to get done everything that we want to do. Staying focused on our most important priorities is one of the toughest challenges we all have.
Many mistakenly believe that they can “multi-task” their way through anything. I often describe multi-tasking as multi dumb! Some think it’s a highly developed skill that all should possess. The fact is, it stifles any chance of staying focused and only adds to your stress and lack of meaningful productivity.
Many also think that making a list of “to-do’s” (the longer the better) makes them effective planners. They proudly display their filled yellow pad like a shield that they think will protect them. Again, another fallacy because they don’t question whether some of the things on their list should be there at all! To me, the most important thing about planning and making a list is to decide what not to do.
Stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus on those things that have the highest reward/payoff. The fact is, you can only properly focus on a few things at one time. You must discipline yourself to focus on only the high value / right things.
So, here are the 5 simple steps you can take to stay focused and get the “right” things done: Continue reading →
All of us from time to time have been called upon to make a choice between time spent with our family versus time spent at work or in business. The choice is never an easy one and, despite our best intentions, we sometimes place business/work ahead of ourselves or our families. When you do this, you are falling victim to allowing your business or career to define you. What happens when your business or job is gone? Does your identity go with it?
Some of us even go as far to rationalize why working long hours or putting business first is the right choice. Imagine? When you do this, you make what is called a “withdrawal” from your personal or family emotional bank account. Like all bank accounts, if you don’t periodically make “deposits” (i.e., time for you or time spent with family) you will eventually run the balance down to zero and end up overdrawn. Then what? You owe it to yourself and your family to make regular (and more) deposits than withdrawals so you can build your emotional capital for the future.
Discipline yourself every now and then to remind yourself just how important you are to yourself or how important you are to your family and them to you. You can never create more time. That’s a business problem. But not being able to create more time for your personal interests or your family is far worse.
I listen in amazement when I hear a business person say “I promised myself (or my family) some quality time this weekend.” They have it backwards – it’s the “quality” of time you spend at work and the “quantity” of time you spend for yourself or with your family.
One of the biggest challenges that I see regularly within my coaching practice is the difficult time people experience in making decisions. Look, none of us get it right all of the time. But, that shouldn’t stop you from making the best decision you can on a timely basis. Maybe the following three steps will help you sharpen your decision making skills:
Determine the Outcome You Want to Achieve – Before you decide anything, be absolutely certain what it is that YOU want to achieve. Without that clarity, I can almost guarantee that you will waste time and money, and take on more stress and frustration that you deserve. Now, you may not reach 100% certainty every time, but get yourself to whatever level it takes to be able to say to yourself, “that’s what I want.” Never – and I mean never – accept someone else’s outcome if that’s not what you want. Why? Because if it goes wrong (and it usually does) you’ll be carrying the burden of the blame.
Do Your Homework – Bad decisions are made when you “shoot from the hip” or try to “wing it” with bad information or from bad advice from bad sources (people). Take as much time as practical to gather the information you need. Keep in mind that you may not have all of the time you would like. We don’t live or work in a perfect world. As such, you may have to decide using incomplete or imperfect information. Sort through what you do have, determine what is most relevant to the decision being made and do your best to work with it. Don’t allow not having all of the information you need to intimidate you; be bold and trust your judgment.
Don’t Delay – It’s always better or preferred to decide sooner rather than later. Gather the information from your “homework” but don’t try to study all of the sides of a circle and paralyze yourself from taking timely action. Don’t procrastinate; a bad decision made on a timely basis is far better than no decision. Know your outcome, do your homework, decide, get on with it, and then move on to the next issue.
Looking for easy days or approaches isn’t always the best approach. Chris explains the meaning behind this Navy Seals motto and how it can be applied in our personal and business lives.
Chris Ruisi’s “Step Up and Play Big Moments” is all about personal and business success. Chris’s goal is to offer today’s entrepreneurs, CEO’s and business leader’s practical guidance, tips, strategies and tactics that work in today’s challenging business climate. Chris brings his practical and successful experience at senior level management and Board positions to help his listeners cut through the clutter to Step Up and Play Big. Also available on iTunes.