A few weeks ago we talked about the importance of sharpening the saw, as Stephen Covey describes in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, regarding habit #7 and we talked about the importance of learning every day, keeping current. Don’t do what others do, leaving it for later because the truth is that, if we do not make the commitment and include it in our weekly to-do list, it’s not going to happen.
And what will happen if we don’t do it? Well, it will just continue to have a negative impact on our productivity levels as well as on our short and long term efficiency.
That negative impact can be financial as well as on our health and other aspects of our life. Financial in the sense, as we said in the Excel spreadsheet example, of not knowing the program very well, which causes us to take a lot longer to do calculations or build a project than if we were to do it using the systematized functions built into the tool. For...
We have talked about topics related to productivity and to concentrate on the tasks that will help us advance towards meeting our objectives faster, but there’s another important factor that will help us reduce the time it takes us to perform a specific activity. Especially when talking about repetitive activities like preparing a report, doing some sort of evaluation, filling out a survey, organizing paperwork, creating forms, etc. These are activities that, although we don’t have to do them daily, we most likely encounter them once or twice a month.
The idea of this factor is that we become experts in those types of activities so that each time we perform them with less effort and in less time, and this will allow us to invest more time in those activities we’re not so familiar with or where there is no specific starting point due to the nature of the task.
Most continuous improvement methodologies focus on organizations. ...
Between work and personal obligations, reaching our goals and meeting them may seem difficult, however, creating an efficient list of tasks is one of the first steps to achieve our goals and objectives.
Many of us are drowning in the amount of things we have to do. We live in a world of calls, constant messages, notifications and tasks that compete for our attention. We are swimming in a constant source of stress.
When we finally go to sleep, instead of feeling satisfied, most of us are thinking about what we could NOT do during the day, how our time was trying to do something and how we will have to recover the day morning.
This is why today is more important than ever, really crucial, to SIMPLIFY.
The answer may seem simple, but it is not. We need to define what things we should focus on.
As you prepare for your day, you will probably review the list of tasks you must complete, the number of places you should go and the people you need to see.
Your to-do list...
It is common that in a normal day we find an endless number of tasks that we must or want to carry out. We have activities related to work, family, social activities, entertainment, among others. It becomes complicated to be able to attend everything that is presented to us on a day-to-day basis in addition to the overdue tasks that we drag from the previous days.
It becomes even more complicated when we don’t have an agenda or do not prioritize the day's activities to select which are the most important ones and will bring us the best results. To avoid the stress caused by the lack of planning what you must do is attack the tasks as soon as possible.
As you must have heard before, you should do the activities with the highest priority first, and choose which activities are more urgent and which are more important. We will not always be able to do them in the order that we decided, since emergencies arise daily that we must...
Stephen Covey, in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", one of the bestselling books internationally, talks about the importance of training and development, he calls it: Sharpening the saw.
What does the concept of Sharpen the Sierra mean?
He defines it as seeking continuous improvement and professional and personal renewal, that is, preserving and improving the most important asset you have: YOURSELF.
He mentions that it is important to have a balanced program of self-renewal in what he calls the four areas of your life:
Physical. Through good nutrition, exercise and rest.
Social / Emotional. Making social and meaningful connections with others.
Mental. Through learning, reading, writing and teaching
Spiritual. Spend time with nature, expand your spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer or service.
He says that renewing in each of the four areas will create growth and change in our lives. It keeps us fresh to be able to obtain better results in...
Many of us know from a young age what we want to be when we grow up, and although many times they are just simple fantasies, as we grow up we adapt that idea to what is most interesting to us in each phase of our lives.
The more we grow up, we also develop abilities and aptitudes that make us perfect for an activity and move us further away from the possibility of being good at others, both physical and mental abilities separate each person and make them unique and perfect for a specific activity.
“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why”.
No one likes to be the villain, very often we find ourselves saying YES when asked to do something, because we feel obligated to do so, or because we are the type of person who likes to please, although we really want to say no, since we already know that if we commit ourselves to do even more things, other activities that are important to us will end up being neglected.
Maybe, you are going to tell me, how am I going to say no to my boss, who is asking me to finish this by tomorrow?, or to my friend that’s asking me for a favor?, or to so and so that’s asking me for this and that, etc. etc. etc.?
But honestly, between your job, your projects for this year, and your daily obligations, you have very little time to do all the things you want and need to do, imagine if you add more?
We may think that the things we want to do for ourselves can be set aside, in order to deal with this new commitment, but let me tell you something, that is the worst mistake!
For example, many...
You’ve probably always heard that you have to set goals in life, but not everyone knows how important this is. Most of the people that have been successful in their lives became so because they set goals and made the effort to reach them. Many dream with having more success in their personal or professional lives, but only a few take on the task of thinking of realistic dreams and then finding ways to make them happen.
Goals help us define exactly what we want to reach and thus help us create a plan to reach those objectives, when we set a goal we convert it into something tangible, it’s not just a dream any more. It is important to have measurable goals and to constantly evaluate them to have a better chance of reaching them, in addition, this offers you the possibility of tracking your progress and keeping you motivated.
It’s important to highlight that the goals we set must have a degree of difficulty that requires effort, but that at the same time are reachable...
At times I would like to be one of those people that never uses a to-do list. I hear things like “It’s all in my head” or “I like to be flexible and see how my day goes”, “I don’t like to feel tied down”
In a way that sounds fabulous, it seems you have everything under control, you are so relaxed that you don’t have to worry about what comes next or maybe you don’t have the faintest idea how to take control of your life and choose to ignore the situation and that’s why you use those arguments without realizing it. Or maybe you truly feel that you have everything under control and worry never clouds your mind. Congratulations!
Personally, I like to have things under control and use a “to-do list”, since otherwise my mind cannot concentrate on the things that are important, because I start worrying and thinking that maybe I’m forgetting something since I didn’t write it down and then...
A subject we frequently encounter when we talk about productivity is time management and how most of us endure an extraordinary number of tasks we have to accomplish in a normal day and we know that the 24 hours we have will not be enough to get them done with the techniques we normally use.
A very simple but powerful tool that we frequently use in our work sessions is known as “The Pomodoro Technique”, which is a time management technique that was developed by Italian Francesco Cirillo at the end of the 1980’s.
This technique consists of using a timer to create intervals of work and rest, permitting full concentration on an activity during a time period and allowing the person to get distracted and relax during another shorter period of time. Many theories exist regarding time intervals, and the original break down is 25 minutes of efficient work with 5 minutes of rest. This 25/5 interval is known as “a pomodoro”. But we have...