We’re all in the same boat. We wish we could be more productive. We have a MILLION things to do and our in-boxes continue to pile up. We wish there were 40 hours in a day, but there’s not, so what do we do?
Comprehensive Media is in a period of amazing growth. But managing the sheer amount of inputs is a challenge. Short-term, I can burn the candle at both ends, but long-term, it’s unsustainable. Yes, I delegate. Absolutely, we have an incredible team and new members. But the reality is, our plates are still full.
As I was preparing for our weekly staff meeting, I wanted to encourage our team and share with them some tools that are helping me. Since these tools have everything to do with proactively reminding ourselves, this post is a challenge to not forget–the 3 secrets to staying on top of your work.
Secret #1 – Remember Your 5 Purposes
Be intentional as to why you’re doing what you’re doing.
- Closed – Open loops or unresolved “stuff” will nag you until you do something about it. Ignoring them won’t change anything but identifying and acknowledging all that stuff that is subconsciously screaming your name, is the first step.
- Empty – Once you’ve identified those open loops, you’ve got to get them out of your brain and into a trusted system. The best way I’ve found to do that is to start writing. Write until your head is empty.
- Process – Now take those notes and process them, ie: get them in your trusted system so you can act on them. Glen Stansberry has a great post here on Processing Your Stuff.
- Prioritize – Everyday, take a few minutes to decide (ie: think about) what needs to be acted on first.
- Do – Now just do it.
Secret #2 – Remember Your 6 Obstacles
Be aware of the obstacles that will keep you from your purpose.
- Being All – You can’t do it all. And you certainly can’t do it all at the same. Multitasking is a myth.
- Being Overwhelmed – It will happen. You’re going to feel overwhelmed. When it does, don’t give in to despair or despondency. Take it one step at a time. You can do this!
- Being Perfect – Don’t fall into the “it’s not perfect” trap, so you never do it. As Michael Hyatt says, we need to “get use to the concept of permanent beta“.
- Being in Control – Absolute control is an illusion. Relinquish and delegate for your sake and the sake of others.
- Being too Fast – Rushing always costs more than doing it right the first time. Take a deep breath and slow down.
- Being too Busy – You’re never too busy for a Weekly Review. It’s one of the very best choices you can make. And yes, it will save time and stress.
Secret #3 – Remember Your 7 Keys
Don’t forget the keys that will keep you on the straight and narrow.
- Down – You need down time. You can’t work 24/7/365 and be well-rounded, healthy and productive. Schedule it to make it a reality.
- Ready – Life will happen and “stuff” won’t go as planned. Go with the flow. Be ready to act & react.
- Ask – When you’re stuck and don’t know what to do, ask yourself one simple question, “What’s the very next step I can take to keep moving forward?” Now take it.
- Time – You have to give yourself time to think. It may be a few seconds, a couple minutes or a few hours. But sooner or later, you’ve got to think it through. Take the time and make it sooner.
- Experiment – Find what works for you and do it. If it’s not working, make the necessary adjustments until it does.
- Once – Save time by only “touching it once”. When you pick up a piece of paper or open an email, make an immediate decision and act on it. Don’t decide to come back to it later, and later, and later… Once is all you need.
- Communicate – Keep the lines of communication open with yourself and your team. If you need help, ask. Don’t suffer and don’t get stuck frozen by inaction. Communicate.
Staying on top of your work is sometimes work. There are lots of unimportant distractions that would lure you with their false cries for urgency. Your goal is to stay focused and remember these 3 secrets to staying on top of your work.