Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Your Personal Efficiency

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau

How efficient are you? Have you given it much thought? So often, we simply get into the habit of doing things a certain way and it becomes so comfortable that we don’t give a thought to exploring better ways of doing routine things.

Many years ago I took an extensive time management course. It lasted several weeks and was a foundational part of continual self-improvement for me.

Some of the tips/tactics were challenging and some were very simple, as stated, but quite challenging to carry out.

My favorite:  Never touch things twice.

Sounds simple, right? Back then, I had an “in-tray” on the corner of my desk. I would take things from the “In” tray, review them and decide to respond or procrastinate. I also had another stack, near the inbox where I put things to deal with later…. it kept growing and growing!

I adopted the one-touch method:  Act on it, delegate it or trash it. Honestly, it really helped. Sometimes I had to deal with dreaded things but it was better than having them hanging over my head like a dark cloud.

Give this method a try as you deal with paper items and now, mostly digital items.

Dr. Travis Bradberry, Coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, tells us that to be successful at this you have to master the tyranny of the urgent. The tyranny of the urgent refers to the tendency of little things that have to be done right now to get in the way of what really matters. The key is to delete or delegate or you will find yourself going for weeks without addressing the important stuff. Sound familiar?

Other tips from Bradberry:

  • No is a powerful word
  • Check email on a schedule
  • Avoid multitasking

  • "The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time."
  • Mozart

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