Not enjoying being managed during lockdown?
Can you relate to this?
Lists in notebooks from every meeting. Tasks on different platforms depending on who assigned them to you.
You’ve been given projects here and there, but your progress hasn’t been tracked so you feel unappreciated. You may have a few goals for the year, but you have no idea about what milestones you need to reach to achieve them. That’s just in your work life, never mind the social events, family days, gym classes you want to go to but too often skip. The list goes on. You feel like you’ve wasted too much time, because your goals haven’t been clearly defined or articulated and, since you started working at home, you are getting even less guidance on how you are doing or what you should be doing that fits with your company goals.
Where do you go from here?
None of us have time for wasting our lives on distractions and yet it is so easy to be working on the wrong things and being constantly available through our devices, doesn’t help the team – or you stay focused.
It takes discipline to focus on important activity that takes you toward your goals instead of being distracted by everybody else’s demands, especially if it is your manager who provides the distractions! (we’ve all been there)
The simple answer to these woes is simple: scheduling and clear records of your activity. Or rather, the process of scheduling, which we like to call ‘Find, Sort and Do’ – it’s a fairly simple 3 step process that requires about 10 to 20 minutes a day and will help you prioritize away from all the demands and give you a clear record of your work achievements for your manager.
As the saying goes, the one thing constant in life is change. Because of change, our priorities change; things that were once important and/or urgent get moved to the back-burner and other ‘nice to have’ tasks suddenly pop into the forefront of our attention. Because of this, we need a system to make sure that we can keep track of all the tasks in our heads without losing them.
This is where Finding comes into play. The first step in reducing overwhelm is to go to every app, post-it-note, pad, Outlook list or Google list and drop every single task into your Find column. FIND IT!
Sorting is the means by which we organize our task inventory. It is beneficial to place tasks into logical grouping or categories. For added benefit (explained later), we like to colour-code these categories, such that you may focus on the various aspects of your personal and professional life. SORT IT!
Once sorted, identify those important/urgent tasks that need to be done immediately. For each of your categories, prioritize your top 5 – 10 items/tasks and then schedule those tasks on the day that you want to do them. Sort the colours together into groups so that you can focus on one category at a time rather than randomly flitting from one task to another. You can do this on paper, through Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar or our personal favourite, GoalShaper! DO IT!
Reach Company Goals Faster E-book
Why group colours together in my calendar system?
You will be more effective if you practice scheduling your energy as suggested. It takes a different kind of energy to work on finance than it does working on long term visions and goals. This also allows you to be flexible and save time and as you have now already categorized your tasks, it should be easy. This will give you peace of mind that you are in control, remaining spontaneous and safe in the knowledge that you will complete everything at the most efficient time by scheduling your own life: Best of all you will have a clear record of achievement that you can share.
The system, of course, also works for scheduling all business-related activity as well. You can collect ideas for business related projects and leave them in your Sort columns (marketing, product development, sales) until you are ready to work on them. Make sure that your business categories align to your Vision and goals to prioritize your workflow against the pressure of too many demands. Within the GoalShaper software, you can write out your goals, what milestones you need to reach to achieve them, and then mark certain tasks against these milestones to track progress. You can set your own personal and professional goals, as well as share team goals with your colleagues and allow your manager to see how you are doing.
Remember to reward yourself for your ongoing scheduling progress. Tick the items that you complete as you go along and keep a week-by-week colour coded record of your achievements (useful for annual appraisals as well as upward management).
Scheduling is like exercise for the mind. By committing to the scheduling process every day, you will achieve more, remain on focus, all while having the peace of mind that you have a system for handling the chaos of everyday living.
Want a record of this system to refer to? Download our free material on ‘how to reach your company goals faster’.