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How Productive Are You?

Whether you manage a group of employees, a handful of independent contractors or are merely keeping track of your own productivity levels, you need to ask yourself: How productive am I? At what level are your time management skills? Was getting organized at the top of your to-dos for 2012? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, let me ask you this…Do you believe that multi-tasking makes you more, or less, productive.  We will discuss multi-tasking in a future post, but I wanted you to be thinking of it while you read this information.

What steps do you take to make effective use of your time? Do you live by a calendar — whether virtual or paper copy; write your to-dos on a white board or write sticky notes to remind you of items to be done? Truly, no one can dictate which of these methods for tracking your tasks are best, but you do need to know yourself to know what will offer you the greatest efficiencies.

Getting a handle on your time is perhaps the most important thing you can do for both yourself and your staff and it is likely the most difficult item to tackle. According to productivity professional, Laura Stack, the biggest time management challenge is that individuals simply don’t take time to think and plan. She suggests adding “thinking time” to your daily calendar. If you’re thinking you don’t have time to even get your normal daily tasks done, so how could you possibly spend time thinking, you need to open your thoughts. To effectively plan a day, week or month you truly need to take stock of everything you need to accomplish and how can you do that unless you’ve taken the time to think about it? You probably can’t.

Do you rely on your technologies to keep your time in check? Be aware that many people get lost in their technologies — smart phones, etc. — and lose track of time and therefore, fall behind in their day-to-day tasks. If you’re going to rely on your technologies, make certain you are aware of the time you might be wasting while doing so. Set a timer to keep yourself in check.

Remember, once your time is gone, you can’t get it back. Use it wisely and be the most productive you can be!


Goal Setting For Success

When you think of a “winner” who, or what, do you think of? Is there a specific person? A goal attained? A particular level of success? Winner means many things to many people.

For many, the word winner brings to mind a person who works hard, is dedicated, perseveres no matter how large the obstacles, values commitment, has drive, vision and above all, has a passion for whatever he or she does. It is the passion for your chosen goal that will keep a winner moving forward.

How can you be a winner? Begin by visualizing what step you need to attain to consider it a “win” for your particular goal. If you can see the end goal, you have something toward which to strive. Write down the steps you need to take to reach your goal. The time you spend now will help you achieve your ultimate win! Keep your steps toward the goal both manageable and measurable. How will you know if you’ve arrived if you don’t know the steps it will take to make it there?

Now that you know what your goal is, it’s time to think like a winner. If you believe you are a winner, you can make it happen. Some people give up on their dreams when they’ve had a couple of failures or if they start to think they aren’t smart enough or worthy enough to be a winner. The power of positive thinking cannot be over estimated.

Regardless of what your goal is, you won’t make it to your goal if you’re not willing to put in the work. Winners work hard to get where they are and if you want to join their ranks you need to be willing to put in the hours to make it happen.

Mark off the steps you’ve attained along the way toward your winning goal. Celebrate the steps you’ve made. Celebrate your ability to be a winner.

Solving Problems in 10 Steps

Solving Problems in 10 Steps

by Rex Richard

We all have daunting challenges in our lives and businesses. Find the solutions by following this 10-step recommended plan of attack.

1. Precisely define the problem.

2. Consider it from additional angles. As Jack Welch said, “Continually expand your definition of the problem, and you expand your view of all the different ways that it can be solved.” Ask, “What else is the problem?”

3. Re-examine the problem, looking at it over and over. Seek new ways to consider it. Continue to ask, “What else is the problem?”

4. Identify the problem’s primary causes.

5. Consider any and all solutions that will eliminate the problem. Do not settle for just one answer. Develop numerous solutions to the same problem.

6. By now, you have thoroughly examined the problem, its causes and some potential solutions. Given this hard work, you are ready to decide which tactic will work best, and to go for it.

7. Assemble your team and dole out assignments to fix the problem according to your chosen solution.

8. Establish a deadline and create a schedule that meets it.

9. Put your planned solution into action, but have a secondary plan ready in case your primary plan does not work.

10. Circle back to the problem later to ensure that you have eliminated it. If not, put Plan B into action.

Have a Plan B.

Leading a balanced, orderly personal life will help you be a better leader. Find practical methods for eliminating stress, unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Periodically “reinvent” who you are. Often this involves striking out in some entirely new direction in your work.

Take the time you need to achieve serenity and peace. On a daily basis, simply turn everything off for a time. Be quiet, calm and peaceful.

Savor the silence. Use your former TV-watching time to get in closer touch with your loved ones. Be considerate to them and to yourself.

Strive to live a healthier life. Eat better. Exercise more. You are special and valuable. Treat yourself accordingly.