Staying productive on the go is easier that you might think. If you keep a list of things to do with you at all times, you’ll likely find a number of tasks and to do’s that can be executed with very little technology or tools beyond pen and paper. If you need to meet with someone in the near future, grab your cell phone and set up the visit even if you’re away. You can also brainstorm new ideas for work, sketch ideas for that rundown flower garden in your yard, or write a thank you note to a friend.
One of our Facebook followers asked us how to turn a Lose/Win mentality into a Win/Win mentality. That’s a great question.
We live in a very competitive world. We’re all clamoring to get ahead and meet our agendas. Nobody likes losing. But when we’re working with other people, we need a little give and take.
Almost every conversation includes negotiation. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a lot of pleasant disagreements disguised as idle chatter. Disagreements are healthy. It’s been said that if two people agree on everything all the time, only one person is doing the thinking. But what if two people are trying to work together and they have dissimilar goals? What happens when your disagreements get in the way of productivity?
We negotiate every day; when our children ask us for treats right after breakfast, when we’re deciding which movie to watch, or what we’re going to eat for dinner. These simple discussions usually end well. Similar yet more complicated situations occur between business partners, marriage partners, co-workers, and during other aspects of our lives. These situations can often be complicated, and how they end depends on us.
So how do we progress from wherever we are now to a Win/Win mentality? First we have to decide what winning is. In other words, we need to decide what is most important to us, and what we hope to gain from our relationships.
Remember that Win/Win is cooperative and not competitive. Once we know what we want, the next step is to understand our partner. We have to be able to see the problem from their point of view. From there, it helps if we can view it from an outsider’s viewpoint.
The next step is to identify the key issues and concerns involved—not just yours, but theirs as well.
Now, determine what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution. Write down every possibility.
Last, work together to identify possible new options to achieve the results you both want.
This process will work most of the time—especially when both parties have an abundance mindset. Remember that one person will not achieve success at the expense of another. There are plenty of acceptable solutions, if you’ll just stick with it until you find them.
That sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Far too simple, we suspect. To be honest, we couldn’t begin to fully answer your question in the form a blog. The best source for this information is Stephen Covey himself. Pick up a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and read the 4th habit.
We also highly recommend The Third Alternative. This is an entire book devoted to the process of discovering the Win/Win solutions in everyday life. Reading these valuable books will not only answer your questions about Win/Win, but they will also help you integrate those habits into your daily life.
We all have unpleasant tasks that we need to complete. The challenge is staying motivated enough to actually stick with them. One way to do this is to give yourself a reward when you have completed an unpleasant task. Hey, if it works for our kids, why shouldn’t we do the same thing for ourselves? Give yourself a piece of chocolate or a soda when you complete half the items on your list for the day, and treat yourself to a golf game if you reach your goal for the month.
Who is ready to win a new laptop bag? We are giving away one gray Matrix Laptop Bag by FranklinCovey. This modern bag is perfect for the busy business traveler. Check out the video below to learn more about this product's features and visit our Facebook page to enter to win. You can also enter by sending an email to GO.FC@Fcorgp.com- just include your name and the name of the giveaway in the email.
Time flies when you’re having fun, but what if you’re not having fun and your time still seems to “fly away?” Do you ever feel like your schedule runs you, rather than the other way around? Maybe you’re feeling like you can’t get everything done, or that you don’t really know where your time goes. Sound familiar? If so, a “time makeover” might be just what you need! Here are some simple strategies to help get your calendar under control:
Take stock.To truly maximize your use of time, it’s helpful to first find out how you’re currently spending your day. In a journal or on a notepad, write down what you’re doing from hour to hour for a few days. Note what your current daily schedule is (if you have one), what’s working, and what isn’t. Also notice what your energy rhythms are – are you more “up” in the evening, or are you more of a night owl?
Check it out. After keeping a log for a few days, start looking for patterns. Are you spending most of your time on the things that you want or need to do, or are you wasting lots of time procrastinating or surfing the web? Where is time being used well, and where do you see room for improvement? Also see whether the things that are most important to you are synchronized with when you are the most “up.”
Build blocks.Group your different daily tasks into categories, and then make the categories into “time blocks.” Common categories are work time (time you spend at your job or business), admin tasks (paying bills, processing paper, etc.), pleasure time (breaks and other downtime), and kid-related time (carpooling, getting the kids ready for school).
Fill it in.Look at a blank calendar, and start setting up your revised schedule. Put your time blocks onto your calendar, based on how much time the tasks within each category take up. As things come up during your day or your week, you’ll now have time literally “blocked out” for the tasks to fit into. Try to group related tasks together – for instance, if you noted in your logs that you were paying bills online on Tuesday and writing checks on Friday, try to group those together on your calendar. Every process that you can group or streamline will make a difference in how efficient you can be.
Keep at it.After you’ve filled in your time blocks with tasks, you’ll be left with a revamped schedule. Try implementing your new schedule slowly – that way you can make adjustments and tweaks. If something works well – great! If not, see if you can shift a task to another time block or shift the blocks around. Keep with it until you find the mix that works for you.
You CAN get control over your schedule! With a little advance planning and a few of my tips, you’ll soon be master of your day once more.
Thanks Joshua! If you liked this article, give it a cheer and/or like it on Facebook.
We’re approaching the end of June, so that means that we’re almost half a year away from our New Year’s Resolutions. How have your goals held up this year? June is the perfect time for reviewing your goals, celebrating your successes, and recalibrating your plans for the rest of the year.
As you go over your resolutions, you’ll probably notice that your successful goals have turned into habits, while the ones you ditched in February never quite made it there. That’s probably why the toughest goals to master (like losing weight or quitting smoking) involve changing powerful habits over long periods of time.
So as you re-evaluate your goals, break them down into small daily habits that you can manage. For example, choosing to pack a lunch from home every day might help you reach two different goals: saving money by not eating out, and getting healthier by controlling what you eat.
Once you’ve identified your small goals, put them into practice every day for at least three weeks. If they’re time-specific (like the lunchtime goal above), add reminders to your computer or alarms on your phone to help you break your current habit’s autopilot and accomplish your goal.
If March through June haven’t been your best months for accomplishing your goals, don’t give up. Start small, and add on more complex tasks once your habits start to change. And if you fall off the wagon, don’t start running in the opposite direction: resolve to stick with it the next time your habit alarm goes off. Before the year is half over, you’ll already be making progress.
Summer passes by quickly. If your kids are on a traditional school schedule, their break is going to fly by. If they happen to be in school year-round, their summer break is even shorter. Be sure to schedule time with your kids while they are on break. Plan a little getaway with them so they feel like they’ve had time with family doing something special. Of course, you can’t spend their whole break vacationing. Make the effort to change hats from work to home so you can relax more with your kids during the workweek. After all, another school year is just around the corner.
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
Benjamin Franklin once said that "if you want something done, ask a busy person." There's truth to that statement. After all, the busier we are, the better we manage our time. Busy people are able to get more done in a day because they don't waste time. They take advantage of every moment and consider time a precious commodity.
The sloth, however, thinks nothing of watching time pass. There's also the group in the middle who consider themselves busy, but it's more a term they use to validate themselves. Have you noticed that "busy" is the new word to use when someone asks you how you are? Instead of being good, we are now "busy!" The pace of life has increased in a way that we only feel worthwhile when we're moving at a frantic pace.
Time is our most precious resource. You can't buy more and you never know when you're going to run out of it. So, we need to make the most of every day. This doesn't mean that we need to work harder and harder. This means that we need to evaluate what's important and make time for it. You will never find time to do those elusive things on your list, you need to make time. How do you make time? You start carving it out, treating it like the precious resource that it is and making the most of every moment.
Before I started my own business, I worked for a woman who I considered at the time to be a drill sergeant. Later, however, I appreciated what she put us through because it taught lessons in time management. She made everyone who worked in her office keep a log, in 15-minute increments, of everything we did each day we worked. Yes, we spent a lot of our time working on our logs, but it also taught me to make use of every snippet of time. The average office worker is focused for only 11 minutes before they are distracted, so if you plan ahead for distractions and work incrementally, you will increase your productivity.
If you want to make good use of your time, you need to be a planner. Use a calendar and schedule when you can. Not just your work time, but your free time. Schedule down time, time with family and friends, time to get organized, time to do laundry, etc. Anything that takes up time needs to be included. If you want to be more aware of where your time goes and you feel scattered, set a reminder on your phone every couple of hours to write down what you've been doing. When you know you're on the clock, time will matter more! So if you're one of those "busy" people, make sure the time you're spending being busy is productive.
To learn more about Monica visit our GO Contributor page, or her website chaostoorder.com. We sure are excited to feature her on the GO Community and can't wait to start utilizing all her organizational advice!