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When Managing Emails This Way

You know how much time it takes to manage email—and try to stay on top of it—but you may not realize the enormous amounts of time and energy that are wasted if you’re using one, two or all three of the most common practices for dealing with email.

These practices were born from the fact that many people leave emails in the Inbox after reading, replying to or forwarding, and if you do this too, you know those emails are accumulating and scrolling off the screen.

This can cause a lot of stress and lost time when you have to go back to find an email, an attachment, contact information or event information sitting somewhere in the Inbox. Other important things can be hard to find and manage, too—or they’re missed entirely—such as opportunities, introductions, conversations, ideas, reading and more.

But there’s ONE thing that’s ESSENTIAL to manage—and it’s extremely difficult to do—when emails are left in the Inbox to scroll off the screen, and that is the impossible task of managing TASKS.

Many emails bring things to do, follow-ups, reminders and responsibilities and these are NOT effectively managed in the Inbox. As a matter of fact, it’s impossible to effectively plan, prioritize and accomplish tasks ONLY from their sources—like the Inbox—without missing, losing or forgetting something—or a LOT of things.

And how many sources are there in a typical workday?
There are more than 10.  And email is only one of them.

When it comes to tasks specifically from email, you’ll waste a LOT of time when using one, two or all three of the aforementioned email management practices, which are inefficient and ineffective…

  1. Flagging emails
  2. Marking emails as “unread” so they appear bold in the Inbox
  3. Forwarding emails to yourself so they arrive at the TOP of your Inbox AGAIN, because they could scroll of the screen—or they already have

Which of these are you doing to stay on top of email?

When you engage in any of these practices, you’re re-visiting and re-reading emails you’ve already seen, but couldn’t do anything with, and valuable time is wasted with the process.

Each time you revisit the same emails, you ask…

  1. What was this about?
  2. Why did I flag this?
  3. What do I need to do?
  4. Can I do this now?
  5. Who do I need to talk or email with before I can take action on this?
  6. What step must I take before I can reply to this email?
  7. When should I take action if I can’t take any action steps now?

If 10, 20, 30 or more emails are marked for revisiting, you’ll double the time spent reading the emails and asking the questions above. If you return to those emails 3, 4 or more times, you’ve now multiplied the amount of wasted time you’ll never get back.

And you may ask… “Why is this wasted time? How else would I stay on top of these emails?”

Time was wasted because when you discovered what was necessary the FIRST time you read it, you didn’t move the email—or the information it contained—OUT of the Inbox and into the next place where you could best store it for reference or manage it for action.

This happens because even when decisions are made about exactly why an email is so important, many professionals don’t have a place to put the information it holds, or if a place DOES exist, they’re not in a routine for getting it there.

This is exactly the case when tasks or follow-ups are identified, but there’s NO centralized system in which to manage them. As a result, a lot of time, energy and effort are wasted trying to remember AND manage tasks, follow-ups and information that get stuck in the Inbox.

Instead, you can manage email with ease and alleviate the worry and stress of missing something in the Inbox by taking two essential steps.

  1. Create Reliable Systems to Store Your Important Reference Information
    You must be able to find important reference information when you need it—and FAST—which means you must be able to quickly move information OUT of an email and into systems designed to store that specific kind of information . Examples include…
    1. A digital Calendar for appointments, calls and other commitments of time
    2. A digital Contact system for all contact information
    3. A physical file system for physical papers and files
    4. An e-document library for e-documents and attachments from emails
    5. An email folders list—just a short one!—for storing necessary emails
  2. Use a Centralized, Digital Task Management System to Manage TasksUsing a centralized, digital task list, where ALL tasks can be documented, is a smart move for your efficiency and productivity. All tasks from all sources—including those from email—can be visible in one comprehensive system, but NOT planned for action all in one day.Tasks are stated as small action steps (not projects!) with plenty of detail and targeted dates of action. Then you can effectively compare tasks and prioritize.This creates a plan of action that includes WHAT you’re going to do and WHEN, which is impossible to do on paper—not only because of the 10+ sources of tasks in your workday that would have to be added to a single list—but when priorities shift in your day, you must be able to reprioritize quickly and turn on a dime. Again… impossible to do on paper.

When you have a workday strategy that includes how to manage tasks, email, time and information, you can not only manage tasks more efficiently and effectively, but you can save time that’s being lost in the email Inbox—again, from reading and re-reading emails you’ve already seen, but couldn’t do anything with.

Then you can use the time saved for accomplishing tasks a lot faster and easier, and moving projects forward more quickly. And you can do it all without missing, losing or forgetting anything that arrives in the Inbox—or anywhere else—which means a LOT less stress for you.

The post What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Productivity appeared first on Productive Day.

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It’s an Essential Skill for Executing with Agility and Making Steady, Substantial Progress

Readiness is a valuable state to be in, especially in the midst of ever-shifting priorities and a steady occurrence of the unexpected.

Being prepared gives you a level of control and confidence in your day that can serve you well to:

  • Prioritize quickly, easily and accurately
  • Remain level-headed and calm
  • Consider tasks carefully and make smart decisions
  • Be responsive to calls, emails and requests in a timely manner
  • Execute quickly and act with agility

Many of you may read this and think, “I’m always ready and responsive.” That’s great to hear, but make sure you’re not simply being reactive and that it isn’t costing you somewhere else. The state of readiness gives you the ability to turn on a dime WITHOUT missing, losing or forgetting anything else.

Readiness is the state you always want to be in so you can use your time well and make substantial progress, and the only way to truly reach this state is to have foundational systems in place that support you for managing tasks, time, email and more.

Unfortunately, when professionals are NOT prepared to get things done, things won’t get done.  Without a plan for working on tasks, for managing time, for dealing with email, etc… there will be little or no accomplishment and progress. And in the absence of a proactive plan, reactivity will dominate, which can create high stress.

Consider these actual statements made by professionals who wanted to be more prepared and proactive:

“I’m waiting for my Inbox to tell me what to do next.”  

“I don’t feel like I have a dashboard that summarizes where I am on everything. I want to be a better planner, a better manager and feel more in control of my day.” 

“I spend mornings waking up to the thoughts of what I need to do and what NOT to forget.”

These statements are indicative of working WITHOUT a plan and illustrate the challenges that were caused and the time that was wasted. These statements also act as a crystal ball indicating trouble ahead, including the extra amount of time and energy it will take to try to keep up and stay on top of tasks, projects, priorities and email.

Many professionals pin their hopes of progress on paper to-do lists for a reliable plan and let email drive their day. When dealing with countless interruptions and distractions, reactivity takes hold, which determines where their time goes. This is disastrous if you want to get things done and make meaningful progress quickly.

What is YOUR plan of action?  What do you use to stay on top of things to do? Where are you managing tasks and follow-ups? How are you driving progress? Can you change direction quickly when priorities shift without missing, losing or forgetting anything?

Clarity of Tasks and Time

To make sure you’re ready for anything and always on top of your work, there are two essential practices that must always be in motion for you to be most efficient and productive. These are clarity of tasks and clarity of time. Both require an increase in your awareness, which you need in order to prioritize tasks quickly and accurately, and determine how to use your time.

To gain clarity of tasks, a complete task management approach is required. Professionals don’t realize that tasks come from MORE than ten different sources in a typical workday. They also don’t realize that trying to manage these tasks ONLY from their sources is impossible without missing, losing or forgetting something—or a LOT of things.  Those who function this way are making progress a LOT harder for themselves and are inviting trouble along the way.

Your task inventory should be digital and include ALL tasks no matter the source of the task or when you plan to take action. With an all-inclusive approach like this you’ll have FULL awareness of your responsibilities with a plan for what to do and when. This makes it possible to execute proactively every day and always be ready to make MASSIVE progress.

Clarity of time is equally important to your workday efficiency and effectiveness, too. You could be incredibly clear about daily tasks and responsibilities, but if you don’t have the time to do what you need to do, your tasks will stall and progress will slow down—and who needs that?

Luckily, having clarity of tasks FIRST is an extremely useful driver in determining HOW you will spend your precious time. This is true because knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it can raise your sense of urgency and make you more proactive. This will cause you to protect more time to get things done, because just settling for the time you see as available on your calendar isn’t good enough. You have to protect time proactively and regularly—every day—to not only make progress on tasks, but to be able to process email as well.

Keep in mind that a lot of thinking and planning go into success, as well as ACTION to make it all happen. Therefore, you need a workday strategy for planning and prioritizing ALL tasks, planning where your time will go, and staying on top of email in order to be ready for anything. At the same time, a reliable workday strategy allows you to make steady and substantial progress on the projects and initiatives that matter the most to you and to the future of your company.

The post Are You Working in a State of Readiness? appeared first on Productive Day.

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Managing email only from the Inbox and in a vacuum will substantially reduce your efficiency, productivity and progress.

Here’s the problem with the advice people are giving you about how to manage email.

Other experts who talk about managing email faster or more effectively treat it as if it can be managed in a vacuum. They talk about overcoming email challenges ONLY working from the Inbox, without considering all of the other tasks you must juggle in your workday.

It certainly would be nice to think that email can be managed only within the email system, but don’t believe it. It’s not possible if you want to manage your email AND tasks effectively and efficiently, including the management of ALL of the information and tasks that arrive in email as well as from everywhere else.

There’s more to your day than email.

Email is a communication tool, but it’s not the only one you have to contend with. The email Inbox is a way to bring email in, but it’s not the only inbox you have to attend to. Emails contain all sorts of information, plus tasks and follow-ups, but the Inbox is never the place to manage these. Email is a HUGE source of tasks in your day, but it’s not the only source of tasks.

Your email system is just ONE small wheel in a larger, more complex workday machine full of gears and wheels. As a source of important information and tasks, it deserves plenty of attention during the day, but what you DO with the information and tasks AFTER they arrive in the email Inbox is what matters the most to your efficiency, productivity and overall progress.

Advice that Doesn’t Help

Let’s leave out software like Nudgemail or Boomerang for email management, which I wholeheartedly advise against—but that’s another article entirely. Instead, I want to focus on the advice about “triaging” email, using an “Action” folder for emails containing to-dos, and using flags or stars to mark emails you want to come back to later in order to take action.

When it comes to planning, prioritizing and accomplishing tasks that come from emails, did you know that only using an “Action” folder in your email system is just about as useless as flagging emails or marking them as “unread” so they stay bold in the Inbox?

These are all useless actually—and a BIG waste of your time, energy and effort—if you want to plan your time, prioritize well, and get things done.

And even when these methods are somehow used in conjunction with some kind of paper to-do list, you’re still left without an effective and reliable approach for managing all tasks—whether they arrive in email or from other sources.

Here’s why.

Time and Energy Wasted

Email is only ONE of MANY sources of tasks in your workday. There are more than TEN sources and what professionals don’t realize is that it’s actually impossible to efficiently or effectively plan, prioritize and accomplish tasks by managing them ONLY from their sources.

For example, if you only planned and prioritized tasks coming from the inbox on your desk, you wouldn’t be taking into consideration the tasks coming from email or voice mail or from the to-do lists you write. Other sources include post-it notes where you jot a task resulting from a conversation, meeting notes where action steps result from a meeting, or papers and files on your desk representing still more tasks.

When you discover tasks you need to do as a result of receiving emails, you might flag those emails or mark them as “unread” so they stay bold in the Inbox, but this only causes you to review those emails again and again throughout your day, and you still might not necessarily get anything done. You’re not adding them to an overall plan, you’re not prioritizing them with everything else you have going on, and you’re not necessarily getting anything accomplished.

As well, when you simply move emails into an “Action” folder for future review, the same thing is happening. You spend time reviewing specially marked emails and consider what action is required. Can you do it now? Do you need to do something else first? Are you in the mood to do this? Do you need to consult with someone else first?

And you’re not just reviewing these special emails once a day. You’re reviewing them multiple times throughout your day.  Or worse, they become invisible or forgotten because they’re not part of a larger, more meaningful plan. What results is an accumulation of time spent and not much to show for it.

Moreover, you’re re-reading and re-assessing specially marked emails not just to figure out what to do next with your time. You’re also reviewing them to TRY to keep everything in mind. You don’t want to miss any deadlines, lose information, or forget an important to-do or follow up that should be handled sooner than later.

This process creates a heavy burden on your mind, which can easily be overloaded, and cause stress and overwhelm for you. It also causes you to triple—at the very least—the time it takes to effectively plan and prioritize your tasks. This means you have a great delay in actually finishing tasks and projects, which works against you if you’re trying to make significant progress every day.

The Bigger Picture

The workday machine is driven by a lot of gears and wheels, and the biggest and most necessary wheel in the system is a digital Task List. It’s a single system containing one plan, prioritized by when you’ll take action, and it acts as the driving force that supports your progress.

The smaller gears that keep this big wheel spinning include all the sources of information and tasks in your day: the inbox on your desk, your voice mail, meeting notes, papers and files, email and more.

Once new information and new tasks reach you in various ways, they need to move forward until they are dropped into systems for future reference or action. Because sources of information are not the places for managing information. Sources of tasks are not the places for managing tasks.

And THAT’s the bit of advice no one mentions. It’s the missing piece necessary to make your workday more efficient and productive—a workday that produces finished tasks and projects faster and easier.

Centralize and Make Your Day Easier

Building reliable systems to manage reference information and tasks allows you to spend more time and energy getting things done instead of trying to keep track of everything you receive.

For instance, no matter the source of contact information, it gets centralized into a Contact manager or CRM. Same goes for appointment information going into your digital Calendar, attachments saved in an e-document library, and physical papers and files going in file systems, whether in desk drawers or file cabinets.

And specifically for tasks—again, no matter their source—they can be added to a digital Task List. It’s a centralized, comprehensive system for managing tasks that allows you to…

  • Achieve total clarity and awareness of tasks
  • Plan and prioritize, which you must be able to do instantly and constantly
  • Avoid the guesswork about what to do next when you finish a task
  • Eliminate the worry that you’ve missed, lost or forgotten something—or a lot of somethings

Without each of these abilities, you’ll be guessing about both your plan and your priorities, questioning the best use of your time, and falling behind on accomplishments and progress.

The ideal situation is to be able to find something at the exact moment when you need it—whether for reference or action—so you can keep moving forward. Systems allow you to use your time effectively so you never stop for too long to look for something you know you have, but just can’t find.

And the BEST progress comes not from trying to manage everything according to where it came from (sources… like email), but by managing it according to how it’s useful to you (systems.)

Final Thoughts…

Take caution when you hear email management advice that talks about what you can do with email ONLY within the Inbox or with email folders. That’s not the whole story. There are other systems in play when managing email, as well as the information and tasks email brings.

Again, email is just one small piece of a bigger workday machine made up of many gears and wheels. And when they’re all working together efficiently, you’ll have a well-oiled machine and a very productive workday, giving you the ability to get things done faster and easier so you can make more meaningful, visible progress.

The post What’s Wrong with the Email Management Advice You’ve Been Given appeared first on Productive Day.

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It’s an Essential Skill for Executing with Agility and Making Steady, Substantial Progress

Readiness is a valuable state to be in, especially in the midst of ever-shifting priorities and a steady occurrence of the unexpected.

Being prepared gives you a level of control and confidence in your day that can serve you well to:

  • Prioritize quickly, easily and accurately
  • Remain level-headed and calm
  • Consider tasks carefully and make smart decisions
  • Be responsive to calls, emails and requests in a timely manner
  • Execute quickly and act with agility

Many of you may read this and think, “I’m always ready and responsive.” That’s great to hear, but make sure you’re not simply being reactive and that it isn’t costing you somewhere else. The state of readiness gives you the ability to turn on a dime WITHOUT missing, losing or forgetting anything else.

Readiness is the state you always want to be in so you can use your time well and make substantial progress, and the only way to truly reach this state is to have foundational systems in place that support you for managing tasks, time, email and more.

Unfortunately, when professionals are NOT prepared to get things done, things won’t get done.  Without a plan for working on tasks, for managing time, for dealing with email, etc… there will be little or no accomplishment and progress. And in the absence of a proactive plan, reactivity will dominate, which can create high stress.

Consider these actual statements made by professionals who wanted to be more prepared and proactive:

“I’m waiting for my Inbox to tell me what to do next.”  

“I don’t feel like I have a dashboard that summarizes where I am on everything. I want to be a better planner, a better manager and feel more in control of my day.” 

“I spend mornings waking up to the thoughts of what I need to do and what NOT to forget.”

These statements are indicative of working WITHOUT a plan and illustrate the challenges that were caused and the time that was wasted. These statements also act as a crystal ball indicating trouble ahead, including the extra amount of time and energy it will take to try to keep up and stay on top of tasks, projects, priorities and email.

Many professionals pin their hopes of progress on paper to-do lists for a reliable plan and let email drive their day. When dealing with countless interruptions and distractions, reactivity takes hold, which determines where their time goes. This is disastrous if you want to get things done and make meaningful progress quickly.

What is YOUR plan of action?  What do you use to stay on top of things to do? Where are you managing tasks and follow-ups? How are you driving progress? Can you change direction quickly when priorities shift without missing, losing or forgetting anything?

Clarity of Tasks and Time

To make sure you’re ready for anything and always on top of your work, there are two essential practices that must always be in motion for you to be most efficient and productive. These are clarity of tasks and clarity of time. Both require an increase in your awareness, which you need in order to prioritize tasks quickly and accurately, and determine how to use your time.

To gain clarity of tasks, a complete task management approach is required. Professionals don’t realize that tasks come from MORE than ten different sources in a typical workday. They also don’t realize that trying to manage these tasks ONLY from their sources is impossible without missing, losing or forgetting something—or a LOT of things.  Those who function this way are making progress a LOT harder for themselves and are inviting trouble along the way.

Your task inventory should be digital and include ALL tasks no matter the source of the task or when you plan to take action. With an all-inclusive approach like this you’ll have FULL awareness of your responsibilities with a plan for what to do and when. This makes it possible to execute proactively every day and always be ready to make MASSIVE progress.

Clarity of time is equally important to your workday efficiency and effectiveness, too. You could be incredibly clear about daily tasks and responsibilities, but if you don’t have the time to do what you need to do, your tasks will stall and progress will slow down—and who needs that?

Luckily, having clarity of tasks FIRST is an extremely useful driver in determining HOW you will spend your precious time. This is true because knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it can raise your sense of urgency and make you more proactive. This will cause you to protect more time to get things done, because just settling for the time you see as available on your calendar isn’t good enough. You have to protect time proactively and regularly—every day—to not only make progress on tasks, but to be able to process email as well.

Keep in mind that a lot of thinking and planning go into success, as well as ACTION to make it all happen. Therefore, you need a workday strategy for planning and prioritizing ALL tasks, planning where your time will go, and staying on top of email in order to be ready for anything. At the same time, a reliable workday strategy allows you to make steady and substantial progress on the projects and initiatives that matter the most to you and to the future of your company.

The post Are You Always in a State of Readiness? appeared first on Productive Day.

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Two opposing arguments exist for managing the email Inbox: let email accumulate or get it out of the Inbox.

For those who want to keep email in the Inbox and use searches to find what they need, it’s important to understand why having MORE emails in your email Inbox makes you LESS efficient, LESS effective and LESS productive, and how “Inbox: Zero” will help you make more progress faster and easier.

The point of processing all of your email out of the Inbox is NOT to simply say you’re at zero. Being at zero is a temporary state anyway. What matters MOST to your overall effectiveness on the job is what you DO with the information and how you manage it after the point of receipt.

The email you receive every day is no different than the mail you receive in your mailbox at home. Regardless of quantity, the point of processing mail is NOT to simply get the mail off the kitchen counter. If that were the case, you could just toss it or hide it in a cabinet.

But that doesn’t serve you. That doesn’t help you stay up to date with commitments or store necessary reference information or take other important action steps at home. If you DON’T process the mail at home quickly and effectively, you could end up with a lot of unpaid bills, lost letters, missed communications, late fees, lost invitations, missed events, neglected news, and more unfavorable outcomes.

At work, the point of getting to zero in the Inbox is to gain clarity of information and tasks, be more prepared, execute tasks and follow-ups with speed and agility, be more responsive, have more confidence that nothing has been missed, prioritize accurately, have more time, be more proactive, and have more control of HOW you use your time.

All of these benefits (and more) that are derived from learning how to process and manage email more productively support high efficiency and effectiveness on the job.

Why an Overloaded Inbox Wastes Your Time and Works against You

Consider the content of the emails you receive each day. Some emails are related to current tasks, follow-ups and projects or they generate NEW ones. Other emails contain interesting reading, meeting minutes, questions from others, tasks to delegate, announcements to know, invitations to events, attachments to save and ideas to pursue. Many emails require a reply or forwarding, and others belong in Junk or Trash.

To be most efficient and effective in your workday, all of the information you receive from email needs a DECISION from you and the information must GO somewhere ELSE in order to be stored or managed optimally.

These are the challenges people face: decision making and having places to put things. Working without these two things creates two BIG gaps in the email process that poke holes in your overall effectiveness on the job.

While there are many professionals who would love to know how to get emails out of the Inbox, there are others who want to keep it all in the Inbox and mistakenly believe you can stay on top of things that way.

But you can’t.

The Inbox is simply a tool for bringing emails in, and HUGE amounts of time, energy and effort are wasted unnecessarily when trying to manage hundreds or thousands of emails in the Inbox. It can’t be done efficiently or effectively without missing, losing or forgetting important tasks or information.

As a result, attachments and contact information are not easily found. Tasks and follow-ups are not well-managed or accomplished. And the emails themselves can be easily be forgotten as they accumulate and scroll off the screen.

And running continuous Searches every time you need something—anything—from your email Inbox is one of the biggest wastes of time and effort you can have in your workday. This is time that could be better spent on accomplishing tasks and follow-ups that really matter to your daily progress.

What Getting to Zero Will Do For You

Getting to zero in the Inbox is a procedure that is made up of several processes occurring in tandem, all of which support the management of your entire workload and your ability to work most efficiently and effectively.

Processing email OUT of the Inbox is…

  • A discovery process to build awareness of what you receive and why. An empty Inbox means you’ve seen and reviewed ALL of your emails, which builds confidence that nothing has been missed, lost or forgotten.
  • A decision making process to determine what you need and what you DON’T need to have or to do. An empty Inbox means you’ve made decisions about how the information you received is USEFUL to you and you’ve determined the status and urgency of the information or tasks those emails brought to you.
  • A placement process to move items you DO need OUT of the Inbox and into the appropriate locations MEANT for managing or storing those items. This means that specific types of information can be found for future reference and tasks can be consolidated and best managed in ONE digital system.

Once you process emails out of your Inbox, you’ll discover an incredible amount of clarity about your commitments, projects and tasks. You’ll know what you owe people and what you’re responsible for in total. Then you can prioritize when to take action on each and every one of your tasks and follow-ups.

You’ll feel increased confidence that all of your important information is where it belongs—in your file drawers, e-files, email folders, Contacts, Calendar or on your Task List. Then—and only then—will you have a new level of control in your workday and understand the significance of Inbox: Zero.

Getting to zero several times a day or at least once a day will give you the power to work more efficiently, effectively and productively. You’ll have the freedom to accelerate achievement and make more meaningful progress with the time you’ve saved. And you can do it all faster and easier… and with a LOT less stress.

The post Why an Overloaded Inbox Wastes Your Time and Works against You appeared first on Productive Day.

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Have you ever been double-booked, over-booked or over-stretched because your assistant was unclear about how to manage your calendar and you ended up rushing around, trying to be in two places at once or working into the night because you were overbooked during the day?

If so, this is happening because communication between you and your assistant hasn’t been clear and it’s time to tell him or her about how you want to use your time and the amount of time you need each day for getting things done.

Too many of my clients have communication gaps with their assistants and end up empty-handed when they need more time each day and each week for accomplishing tasks, working on projects, processing email, networking, traveling, lunches, meetings, calls and other activities.

When you want more time, talk with your assistant about how to manage your calendar so it doesn’t get too booked up. Your assistant needs to know…

  • How you like to work
  • What your priorities are
  • How to interpret the appointments you add to your calendar
  • How to book appointments and calls for you
  • The travel time needed for certain appointments
  • The travel time needed between appointments
  • How much time should be protected AFTER meetings for notes review, follow-up or other necessary activities
  • How to interpret “free” time/available time/white space showing on your calendar
  • What kind of appointments are movable and which are not

Go over the list above with your assistant and also share the helpful tips below so your assistant can help you maximize your time and optimize the use of your calendar. If you don’t have an assistant, then these will be good reminders for you, too.

  1. Protect more time.
    Most professionals are quick to schedule meetings and calls in the “free” time showing on their calendar, but very often this time is not truly “free.” If you give this time away, it away will actually cost you later, because that time is needed for working on tasks and processing email. If you don’t get time to do these activities during the day, you will put in more hours late at night, early in the morning or on weekends to catch up.Block time every day for at least an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon (if not more) to protect it before others steal it and before you give it away too quickly, thinking it’s “available.” Otherwise, you’ll continue to run out of time to focus on priorities and projects during the day that matter the most to you and to the future of your company.
  2. Manage your protected time.
    Once you’ve blocked time EVERY day FAR into the future as “office time,” talk with your assistant about how to manage it. If someone else wants that time, give your assistant the authority to SHIFT it, but instruct them not to DELETE it, if at all possible. Again, if you give it away too easily or let others steal it, you’ll be back to where you started: short on time or out of it completely.
  3. Protect extra time after certain appointments when needed.
    Make sure your assistant knows what kind of calls and appointments they’re scheduling for you. Do you need time immediately following certain appointments to make follow-up notes, enter data into a system, or create tasks? Be sure your assistant knows when you require EXTRA time after certain kinds of appointments so they avoid scheduling back-to-back appointments, robbing you of the time you need in between appointments for follow-up activities when information is fresh in your mind.
  4. Remember to include travel time.
    Ask your assistant to protect travel time before and after off-site meetings when necessary. This will help avoid overbooking and situations where you’re promised to be in two places at once. In addition, ask your assistant to allow ample time for travel so you’re not time pressured. You shouldn’t have to drive 90 miles an hour to get where you need to go next and arrive on time.
  5. Establish a hierarchy.
    Assistants should have the authority and confidence to shift appointments appropriately in your schedule. To empower them to do this, explain the hierarchy of importance for clients, colleagues, co-workers, bosses, team members, friends, family and others so they know who to give precedence to when negotiating your time for you. If your assistant feels unsure at any time or encounters a new situation, instruct them to ask for guidance prior to scheduling so they can learn.

Once all of these points are clearly communicated and understood, your assistant will know how to manage your calendar, your appointments and every person who wants some of your time, and they will become your MOST important ally for optimizing your calendar and protecting your time.

The post Your Assistant Can Be Your Best Ally for Managing Your Calendar and Protecting Your Time appeared first on Productive Day.

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According to the Email Statistics Report, 2015-2019 from the Radicati Group, the number of business emails sent and received was projected to go up from 124 billion in 2018 to almost 129 billion in 2019. In addition, the expected average of emails sent and received per business user per day was expected to be 129 messages by the end of 2019.

And that’s JUST email. It’s not the ONLY type of information pouring into your workday and it’s not the ONLY source of tasks you have to manage. 

Most professionals don’t realize that tasks come from more than TEN different sources in a typical workday, including phone calls, in-person conversations, meetings, social media, snail mail and more. However, professionals ARE aware of—and feel the stress from—the daily challenges of staying on top of all of the tasks and to-dos and follow-ups and reminders flowing in.

When bombarded with tasks and information from so many places, it can be stressful without a safe place to turn to—a comprehensive system to manage ALL of your tasks and responsibilities—which would allow you to plan and prioritize tasks accurately and quickly.

As a result, feelings of overwhelm can emerge and a level of uncertainty can creep in, causing worry that something (or more than one thing) has been missed, lost or forgotten.

What most professionals do is grab a legal pad, a post-it note, a steno pad or any paper—to jot down tasks they don’t want to forget. But unfortunately, when a to-do list is written on paper, it just becomes one more source of tasks in your workday that has to be juggled with all the rest.

Like many of the old task and time management methods, the to-do list on paper is NOT the answer for efficiently and effectively managing tasks and follow-ups. It’s only a small and partial view of your total number of tasks, and it’s an average approach that will only yield average results.

Yes, paper gives you temporary safety, because you can get something out of your head, but paper is a tool, not a system, and a to-do list on paper will NEVER fill the gap where a task management system should be.

Instead, a digital approach using these 3 tips can help you gain more clarity, confidence and control when managing tasks.

Leave no stone unturned.

Your goal is to achieve 100% awareness of ALL responsibilities—every task, to-do, follow-up and reminder—so you can create a plan of action for each and every one. Question everything around you as well as what you’ve received in email, and make decisions.

Which items are for reference? What items are reminders for action? What do you want to read, delegate or toss? Tasks you find should be added to a digital Task List, which is the only kind of system that can contain ALL tasks, no matter their source and no matter when you plan to take action.

Determine WHAT you need to do.

Avoid naming a task like a project. Identify a very small FIRST action step to get something started or a very small NEXT action step to keep something moving forward. Be descriptive and avoid abbreviating task details. In addition, always include the “why.” Why are you making that call? Why are you reviewing this report? What are you looking for? What’s your end goal?

Since you can’t do everything today, each daily list will only represent 5-10% of ALL of your tasks. The rest will be planned for action on a future day or in a future week or month, so it’s important to fully document all relevant task details NOW while they’re fresh in your mind.

Decide WHEN to take action.

There are two important parts of a task that generate progress. One is knowing WHAT you need to do. The other is WHEN you need to do it. This is where paper to-do lists get people into trouble. They only contain a brain dump of WHAT a person can think of, but these lists are missing a LOT of tasks from a LOT of sources. Plus, on paper, tasks are not prioritized, there is no plan of action and a lot of time is wasted when rewriting lists.

To save time, work more efficiently and make more progress, every task needs to be on the list with a target date of action. Leaving this to chance is what causes tasks to be missed, lost or forgotten.  The action date is a target date, because, as we know, priorities can shift like sand on a windy day.

But unlike using paper for managing to-dos, a digital approach will allow you to quickly and easily change your plan and reprioritize without missing, losing or forgetting anything.

The post Why Settling for an Average Approach to Getting Things Done is Giving You Average Results, High Stress and Little Progress appeared first on Productive Day.

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Instead of working reactively and with ambiguity, simplify your workday with systems you can rely on to gain strength, reduce stress, and work in a continuous state of readiness.

80% of workers feel stress on the job, according to the American Institute of Stress. The World Health Organization says stress is “the health epidemic of the 21st century” and it costs up to $300 billion per year to American businesses according to businessnewsdaily.com.

Many of you may be FULLY aware of how stressed out you feel today while others may not be so sure. But one thing that IS for sure is that all of us experience the GOOD kind of stress (called eustress), but who knows how much of the BAD kind of stress is riding on top of that?

Despite the stress you might carry, you plod through your day because it’s what people do, right? You move forward. You push through. You make things happen. But at what cost? Has the quality of your work been compromised? Do you have less patience than normal? Are you feeling less than healthy? Are relationships strained?

Stress causes a LOT of negative consequences—like the ones listed above and more—but what if we turn around to look at the causes of stress? What if the work itself is one of the culprits? Workloads aren’t getting any lighter and demands on your time aren’t getting any easier. Time seems to be disappearing as your to-do list grows and email volume goes up, too.

If that sounds like your workday, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, 75% of employees believe workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago. And the American Institute of Stress says, “Workload” gets the lion’s share of the blame for stress at 46% over people issues, job security, and juggling work and personal lives.”

With everything you’re juggling, you may be working more chaotically than you’d like and you may not have the most ideal systems or processes in place to support the amount of work you need to do and the progress you need to make. If things are getting missed, information is lost, deadlines are passed, and follow-ups are forgotten, your stress will surely go up and progress will surely slow down.

7 Ways to Reduce Stress

When you streamline HOW you work and HOW manage your day, you can work more often from a position of strength and readiness, rather than from a position of uncertainty, reactivity, ambiguity and stress.

Here are 7 ways to reduce stress with tips for practicing better workload management so you can work more efficiently, effectively and productively—and with a lot less stress.

  1. Reduce interruptions and distractions. Strengthen your clarity and focus.

    According to the Gensler 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey, 77% of employees prefer quiet when they need to focus, but 69% are dissatisfied with noise levels at their primary work place and 53% of employees are disturbed by others when trying to focus. This isn’t positive for making progress.

    If your workplace is prone to distractions and noise, identify the times of day when your energy is highest and your brain is at its clearest and sharpest for most effective thinking. This will help you know which hours of the day to protect most often by scheduling it on your calendar for YOU. Schedule this time for EVERY DAY and do it AHEAD OF TIME so you remember not to give away all of your time and others will be less likely to steal it. If you can, shut your door or disappear into a quiet conference room during these times.

  2. Create routines. They’re time savers and brain savers.

    Imagine having to rethink tasks you already know how to do, like learning how to drive, type, or brush your teeth. The more things you can embed in your brain and do with very little conscious attention and effort, the more tasks you can accomplish faster and easier. This will help you save time and energy in your day and save your body and brain from a lot of stress.

    “Routine” is defined by Dictionary.com as a “customary, regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure.” So by that definition, it’s reasonable to assume that routines might stifle creativity and spontaneity, but actually, the opposite is true. Creating routines and systematic processes can not only SAVE you a lot of time throughout your day, but the time freed up becomes available for more creative or strategic thinking. And that’s the fun part.

  3. Accomplish something first. Look at email second.

    Everybody checks email first in the morning, and that’s fine, as long as people don’t get STUCK there for too long. The most important thing to check first in the morning is your digital Task List and if you don’t have one, build one. It’s the ultimate driver of daily achievement. It should be complete and comprehensive—with everything you need to do and when you plan to do it, no matter how far out into the future that may be.

    Consider the alternative. Trying to keep track of 50-100 tasks from about 10 different sources without a system is asking your brain to do a lot of juggling. For those trying to keep track with paper to-do lists, do you know where they are? Which one holds the most important tasks? Is your biggest priority even on a to-do list? When you don’t have a system to manage tasks, you can’t count on knowing priorities, when to take action, how you’ll spend your time or what to do next when you finish one task and you’re ready to move on to the next.

    Reduce your reactivity and stress and build a digital Task List to contain tasks, plan and prioritize them, and accomplish them. With this kind of list you can experience more meaningful progress and much more peace of mind: no more missing, losing or forgetting things.

  4. Stop trying to achieve the “Multi-tasker of the Year” award.

    A lot of people pride themselves on multi-tasking, but it’s nothing to brag about. Research tells us it how harmful and ineffective it is. David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, says, “If you do multiple conscious tasks at once you will experience a big drop-off in accuracy or performance.”

    A good example of this is trying to read or reply to an important email while talking on the phone with an important client. You’ll be more likely to make a mistake or risk negative outcomes on BOTH tasks. Rock says, “You can focus on only one conscious task at a time. Switching between tasks uses energy; if you do this a lot you can make more mistakes. […] The only way to do two mental tasks quickly, if accuracy is important, is doing one of them at a time.

  5. Focus on fewer, but more high-value tasks.

    Be more realistic about how many tasks you can do in one day. Focus on fewer, but more meaningful, high-yield tasks. Too many professionals try to bite off more than they can do and the result is the risk of NOT getting to the most important tasks, because the plan was clouded by the number of tasks in the mix.

    If you plan to do, for instance, 10 tasks and time dictates you’re only going to get to 5 of them simply because you don’t have enough time, it’s better to be the one in charge who decides which 5 tasks are the MOST important tasks to do out of the 10. Otherwise, if you don’t consciously choose, you may gravitate toward the easier tasks—thinking you’ve got all day—without realizing you’re leaving a few high priorities behind.

  6. Spend less time and energy trying to find things. Get organized.

    Imagine how much time you might lose each day looking for things you KNOW you have, but just can’t find. Just like routines are time and energy savers, getting organized and being consistent with where you store, put or save things will save you TONS of time, energy and effort in your day.

Use a streamlined, categorized and organized file system for all your papers and files, and do the same for your e-file system for electronic documents. Use one contact system for all of your contacts. Use one digital calendar for all of your commitments. And use one digital Task List for all of your tasks, instead of using paper to-do lists or trying to track tasks from their many sources.

The post Work from a Position of Strength, not Stress appeared first on Productive Day.

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Managing email in a vacuum without considering how it connects to the other systems and processes in your workday reduces your efficiency, productivity and progress.

Here’s the problem with the advice people are giving you about managing email.

Other experts who talk about managing email faster or more effectively treat it as if it can be managed in a vacuum. They talk about the Inbox as if you could overcome email challenges without considering or including any other system or process in your workday.

It certainly would be nice to think that email can be managed ONLY within the email structure, but don’t believe it. It’s not possible if you want to manage your email effectively and efficiently, including managing ALL of the information and tasks that arrive in email.

There’s more to your day than email

Email is a communication tool, but it’s not the only one you have to contend with. The email Inbox is a way to bring email in, but it’s not the only inbox you have to attend to. Emails contain all sorts of information, but the Inbox is never the place to manage that information, and email folders are often not the best place to manage it either. Email is a huge source of tasks in your day, but it’s not the only source.

Your email system is just ONE small wheel in a larger, more complex workday machine full of gears and wheels. As a source of important information and tasks, it deserves plenty of attention during the day, but what you DO with the information and tasks AFTER they arrive in the email Inbox is what matters the most to your efficiency, productivity and overall progress.

Advice that Doesn’t Help

Let’s leave out software like Nudgemail or Boomerang for email management, which I wholeheartedly advise against—but that’s another article entirely. Instead, I want to focus on the advice about “triaging” email, using an “Action” folder for emails containing to-dos, and using flags or stars to mark emails you want to come back to later in order to take action.

When it comes to planning, prioritizing and accomplishing tasks that come from emails, did you know that only using an “Action” folder in your email system is just about as useless as flagging emails or marking them as “unread” so they stay bold in the Inbox?

These are all useless actually—and a BIG waste of your time, energy and effort—if you want to plan your time, prioritize well, and get things done.

And even when these methods are somehow used in conjunction with some kind of paper to-do list, you’re still left without an effective and reliable approach for managing all tasks—whether they arrive in email or from other sources.

Here’s why.

Time and Energy Wasted

Email is only ONE of MANY sources of tasks in your workday. There are about ten sources, give or take, and it’s impossible to efficiently or effectively plan, prioritize and accomplish tasks by managing them ONLY from their sources.

For example, if you only planned and prioritized tasks coming from the inbox on your desk, you wouldn’t be taking into consideration the tasks coming from email or voice mail or from the to-do lists you write. Other sources include post-it notes where you jot a task resulting from a conversation, meeting notes where action steps result from a meeting, or papers and files on your desk representing still more tasks.

When you discover tasks you need to do as a result of receiving emails, you might flag those emails or mark them as “unread” so they stay bold in the Inbox, but this only causes you to review those emails again and again throughout your day, and you still might not necessarily get anything done. You’re not adding them to an overall plan, you’re not prioritizing them with everything else you have going on, and you’re not necessarily getting anything accomplished.

As well, when you simply move emails into an “Action” folder for future review, the same thing is happening. You spend time reviewing specially marked emails and consider what action is required. Can you do it now? Do you need to do something else first? Are you in the mood to do this? Do you need to consult with someone else first?

And you’re not just reviewing these special emails once a day. You’re reviewing them multiple times throughout your day.  Or worse, they become invisible or forgotten because they’re not part of a larger, more meaningful plan. What results is an accumulation of time spent and not much to show for it.

Moreover, you’re re-reading and re-assessing specially marked emails not just to figure out what to do next with your time. You’re also reviewing them to TRY to keep everything in mind. You don’t want to miss any deadlines, lose information, or forget an important to-do or follow up that should be handled sooner than later.

This process creates a heavy burden on your mind, which can easily be overloaded, and cause stress and overwhelm for you. It also causes you to triple—at the very least—the time it takes to effectively plan and prioritize your tasks. This means you have a great delay in actually finishing tasks and projects, which works against you if you’re trying to make significant progress every day.

The Bigger Picture

The workday machine is driven by a lot of gears and wheels, and the biggest and most necessary wheel in the system is a digital Task List. It’s a single system containing one plan, prioritized by when you’ll take action, and it acts as the driving force that supports your progress.

The smaller gears that keep this big wheel spinning include all the sources of information and tasks in your day: the inbox on your desk, your voice mail, meeting notes, papers and files, email and more.

Once new information and new tasks reach you in various ways, they need to move forward until they are dropped into systems for future reference or action. Because sources of information are not the places for managing information. Sources of tasks are not the places for managing tasks.

And THAT’s the bit of advice no one mentions. It’s the missing piece necessary to make your workday more efficient and productive—a workday that produces finished tasks and projects faster and easier.

Centralize and Make Your Day Easier

Building reliable systems to manage reference information and tasks allows you to spend more time and energy getting things done instead of trying to keep track of everything you receive.

For instance, no matter the source of contact information, it gets centralized into a Contact manager or CRM. Same goes for appointment information going into your digital Calendar, attachments saved in an e-document library, and physical papers and files going in file systems, whether in desk drawers or file cabinets.

And specifically for tasks—again, no matter their source—they can be added to a digital Task List. It’s a centralized, comprehensive system for managing tasks that allows you to…

  • Achieve total clarity and awareness of tasks
  • Plan and prioritize, which you must be able to do instantly and constantly
  • Avoid the guesswork about what to do next when you finish a task
  • Eliminate the worry that you’ve missed, lost or forgotten something—or a lot of somethings

Without each of these abilities, you’ll be guessing about both your plan and your priorities, questioning the best use of your time, and falling behind on accomplishments and progress.

The ideal situation is to be able to find something at the exact moment when you need it—whether for reference or action—so you can keep moving forward. Systems allow you to use your time effectively so you never stop for too long to look for something you know you have, but just can’t find.

And the BEST progress comes not from trying to manage everything according to where it came from (sources… like email), but by managing it according to how it’s useful to you (systems.)

Final Thoughts…

Take caution when you hear email management advice that talks about what you can do with email ONLY within the Inbox or with email folders. That’s not the whole story. There are other systems in play when managing email, as well as the information and tasks email brings.

Again, email is just one small piece of a bigger workday machine made up of many gears and wheels. And when they’re all working together efficiently, you’ll have a well-oiled machine and a very productive workday, giving you the ability to get things done faster and easier so you can make more meaningful, visible progress.

The post What’s Wrong with the Email Management Advice You’ve Been Given appeared first on Productive Day.

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In today’s fast-paced workplace, an efficiency mindset can help you be more prepared, keep up with change, and execute faster and easier for more progress and achievement.

EFFICIENT: performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort. (dictionary.com)

What could you do with more efficiency in your workday? What could you achieve each day if getting work done was faster and easier with less wasted time, energy and effort?

Do you hear a voice in your head saying, “I could have done that more easily if I…” or “I could have done that much faster if I…?”  If so, these are goldmines of opportunity.  With a solution-oriented mindset focused on efficiency, you can often stop the leakage of time, energy and effort from your day if you know what to look for.

For example, if you’ve fallen behind on a project with a deadline, but weeks ago you thought you had plenty of time, you have an opportunity to be a better planner and doer. These feed one another in a continuous cycle and help to drive away procrastination.

Planning usually comes first, but with more action comes better planning as you get into your task or project. By diving in right away, you begin to see the scope and you can more accurately plan next action steps and protect the time you need to take those steps.

Another example is recognizing that you’re spending too much time looking for documents, files, emails, or resources you KNOW you have, but just can’t find. There’s an opportunity here to save HUGE amounts of time, energy and effort.

Not finding something immediately once in a while is expected, but when you spend time EVERY day looking for various things, better systems are necessary to store or manage the things for which you look the most often. You must be able to find things quickly so you can move on with your task and keep making progress.

Too many professionals ignore this sort of thing when it happens, believing the circumstance is unavoidable or it’s “as good as it gets”—both of which are untrue.  In Thinking for a Change, John Maxwell agrees that most people are complacent, saying they’re “…more satisfied with old problems than committed to finding new solutions.”  But solutions are a MUST if anything is to change or improve.

Instead of thinking “I’ve got all day,” remember that you don’t. At the same time, focus on identifying and taking smaller action steps to see what you can accomplish in shorter amounts of time. This way you can be more prepared and more productive, avoiding last-minute stress and potentially improving the quality of your outcomes.

Smart professionals are taking matters into their own hands.

According to the Pew Research Center in a national survey conducted in 2016, 54% percent of adults in the workforce believe that continuous learning is important—saying it’s essential to get training and development for new skills throughout their careers. This leaves 46% who don’t agree.

This 46% may not see the immediate value of continuous improvement, which is unfortunate, because if you’re not moving forward, you’re likely going backwards or standing still, in which case, others will blow by you in whirlwind of progress.

For those who are content at their current level of success, be aware that you can’t afford to work from day to day with the idea that “good is good enough” when leaders and companies are looking for exceptional professionals. Leaders know they can’t settle for employees who are doing just “OK” in their jobs. They’re looking for high performers so their company can keep a competitive edge.

As Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte states, the “learning curve is the earning curve; your skills are the currency for your success.” Therefore, ignoring the development of your skills or becoming complacent about what you already know or do will not serve you well in the future.

If you don’t want to forever be where you are now and you want to keep learning and growing, you’ll benefit from new, more efficient ways of thinking and executing your plans. Once you learn something new, your mind has stretched and it can never go back, which is a good thing. This propels you forward; good thinking plus efficient action are at the heart of all progress and success.

Here are three ways to increase efficiency in your workday so you can execute faster and easier and achieve more, which can help you make more exceptional progress in the future.

Think Success, Not Survival

When you spin through your workday like a tornado, you’ve lost control of the big picture as well as the plan for making real progress. Same goes if you’re plodding through your workday as a victim of circumstance or getting bogged down in all of the mundane little things you have to do in support of a loftier goal.

In Thinking for a Change, Maxwell states, “Big picture thinkers don’t let the grind get to them, because they don’t lose sight of the all-important overview. They know that the person who forgets the ultimate is a slave to the immediate.”

If it’s all you can do to “keep up” at work and you feel like you’re a “slave to the immediate,” you’re in a reactive, survival mode of working—just keeping your nose above water. It’s not a strategic way of thinking for success and in many cases, you’re not thinking at all about what you’re doing or what you’re trying to accomplish.

Instead, set an intention to shift from survival mode to success mode, working more proactively than reactively. The best way to get started is to set a few goals so you have a big picture to keep in mind.

Set Goals with Intentional Thinking

The best way to get serious about how you’re working and managing your workday is to get excited about your goals. Nothing works better for productivity than defining specific goals or projects, believing in what you want to achieve, and feeling a sense of urgency—not only get things done, but to change, improve or eliminate the things that will get in the way of finishing projects or achieving goals.

When you’re crystal clear about your goals you can…

…be more definitive about next steps.
…be more decisive about how you’ll spend your time.
…be more confident and proactive.
…minimize interruptions and distractions that prevent you from using time wisely.
…increase your focus and finish tasks you start, giving you more tangible progress.
…achieve better results faster and easier to make the progress you know is possible.

To get going, first, define your vision of what you’d like to achieve in the next 3 months. As you’re planning and visioning, practice a mindset of possibility, opportunity, success and belief. And be specific about your 90-day goals— vague goals produce vague results.

Next, list the projects you wish to complete that will propel you toward your 3-month goals, and identify the first action steps you’ll take to get those projects started. Then start planning and taking action.

“[T]he success of the action you take depends entirely on how you think beforehand,” says Maxwell in his book, reminding us all that thinking and planning are essential for taking the right actions and making meaningful progress.

You’ll find that taking action becomes MUCH easier when you have a thoughtful, strategic plan for accomplishing projects. And it’s not necessary to determine EVERY single step you think you’ll take in a project—only the FIRST or NEXT action step and when you plan to take it.

Change Your Beliefs and Change Your Reality

If expectations about your workday include chaos—and you believe you have no control over that —it’s exactly the kind of workday you’ll get.

You get what you expect and what you expect is based on your beliefs. The power wielded by your beliefs will dictate what enters your reality.

John Maxwell says “a belief is not just an idea that you possess; it is an idea that possesses you.”

What kinds of beliefs do you want running your day?

Remember that you’re in charge of designing your workday. Outside of unforeseen issues and emergencies, you’re in control of how you manage your work and your available time.

You’ll enjoy more clarity, confidence, and control when you have systems and processes to rely on in your day and a firm grasp of…

…all your tasks and responsibilities.
…which priority comes first.
…what tasks you’ll do and when.
…the time you’ve already committed to.
…the time that’s available to you and how you’ll spend it.
…where necessary information is and how to find it fast.

The “firm grasp” you have on these things will help you work more efficiently. These are workload management skills, and you’ll waste far less time, energy and effort on decision making, finding things, answering questions and getting things done when you build these skills.

“Learning how to master the process of thinking well leads you to productive thinking. If you can develop the discipline of good thinking and turn it into a lifetime habit, then you will be productive all of your life.”—John Maxwell

The ability to keep more time and energy for yourself and use them wisely is incredibly powerful. An efficiency mindset will help you keep more time and energy and allow you to work more proactively and productively, which can make all the difference to your progress, achievement and results.

Schedule a No-Cost, 30-minute Consult with Leslie Today

The post Use an Efficiency Mindset to Re-Energize Your Workday and Make Exceptional Progress appeared first on Productive Day.

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