Ever wonder where all your time goes?
Friday afternoon rolls around, and you find yourself asking why you haven't even managed to make a dent in that tall pile of tasks at work. Or maybe, come Monday morning, your well-intentioned weekend to-do list never got touched much less thought about.
So what's the problem? It might be as easy as asking yourself three simple questions. According to
– leadership coach, author, speaker, and founder of
– we get caught up in things that waste our time, sap our energy, and thus decrease our productivity.
1 | Are my priorities straight?
Chances are, they're not. Many times, we decide to tackle the easiest or most fun projects first and put off the most difficult ones until everything else is done. Problem is, those are usually the highest priorities that need to be dealt with first. Bite the bullet and just dive in. The discipline of sticking to the plan and staying on track will lessen your stress levels in the end.
2 | Am I allowing too many needless interruptions?
Have you heard of email? How about others' sense of urgency due to their poor planning? Well, you get the gist. Consider this: every time you stop what you're working on, not only do you lose your train of thought but you double (at least) the amount of time it's going to take to finish your project once you eventually get back to it. The best approach is to set boundaries, let everyone on the team know what they are, and then don't cave in when productivity thieves come knocking.
3 | Have I developed bad habits that steal my time?
Sure, it can be hard to say 'no' to helping out a co-worker meet her deadline or a friend with his fill-in-the-blank favor. You don't want to be the baddie in either scenario. Yet, always putting others before yourself can do more harm than good at times – especially when it means you're not meeting your own needs, priorities, etc. Be honest with yourself about what you actually have the time to accomplish and work around that.
For more leadership tips, click