Keeping the Important Clear

Your phone rings, your computer dings and someone walks into your office.  You already have a long task list of those things that you need to accomplish.  Then there is the task list that your boss, significant other and children might have for you as well.  And, don’t forget that you have goals and dreams.  How do you make sure that you get your most important things done in the day, month and/or year?

Start by creating a clear picture of what it is that is most important to you in your most important roles.  Write it down.  Review it often.  When distractions and the long task lists get in the way, use your clear picture to keep you focused on what matters most.  Then, make time to “paint that picture.”

Contributed by Todd Musig, Productivity Practice, FranklinCovey

Lots of Improvement

Taking the 5 Choices course really helped me to improve the way I used to do things. I feel that I’m more productive and that I have more energy. I learned how to classify my assigments in order of importance, not urgency. Because of that I managed to change completely the way I work. Now I know that I’m working on what really matters to me!

Submitted by a 5 Choices participant

Avoiding Procrastination

How much time do you spend worrying about what you should have already done? Procrastinating is a surefire way to increase your stress, lower your energy and obliterate your productivity.

If you are prone to procrastination, here are some tips for approaching “to-dos” differently.

  • Create a master task list of all the things you need to accomplish.
  • Circle or check the MOST IMPORTANT things on your list and plug them right into your calendar. Doing this will give them a time and space in your schedule. When you leave them on the task list, you are always looking for a time to get them done.
  • Do the things that you like to do the least, first! Once they are done, you won’t be prone to make excuses about moving on to finish the other things on your list that you don’t mind doing.
  • Don’t be a perfectionist. Challenge yourself to finish, first. If revisions are required, go back and do them later.
  • Engage in daily and weekly planning. Sit down with your master task list once per week. Review everything on your list and move the important things onto your calendar. At the end of the day, review what you accomplished. If you missed something, give it a new time and date.
  • Once you’ve completed something that was hard for you to do, stop and notice how great it feels to have it done. Compare this to how you would feel if it were still hanging out there.

Over the years, I have learned that nothing is ever as easy or as hard as I think it will be. Knowing this, makes it easier to start the things I am wary about. In the end, completion of  anything is one of the best feelings in the world.

Contributed by Suzette Blakemore, Regional Productivity Practice Leader, FranklinCovey

Managing My Inbox

“Now I still see my inbox twice a day, but I go directly to what matters most: messages from Directors, Managers and my team in the 19 stores we have, and every e-mail has its own specific folder to go in. All other e-mails go to secondary folders that I can consult later. I don’t use a paper planner anymore: just Outlook, and it is much better now.”

5 Choices Participant

Texting While Parenting

Could the growing use of hand-held electronic devices be an explanation for the increase in injury rates for young children?  The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article entitled, The Perils of Texting While ParentingCLICK HERE to read the full article.

Contributed by Kory Kogon – Global Practice Leader – Productivity