Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting things done - day 2

Here is a continuation of the thoughts from yesterday. God knows I am the one who needs these the most! As far as the plans in writing (you will read about) I am a sticky / list kind of guy. I love to cross things out and tangibly throw stuff away. There is closer for me! (sorry for the long post).

"We must learn, individually and collectively, to work smarter, to work faster, and to do it in such a way that we don't sacrifice the quality of the results that we're producing. Here's a 12 question quiz that will help you to begin thinking along these lines. (we begin all our actions with thought ...)

Question number one:
Have you committed in writing a long-range plan? In the mid-1940's, a 15 year old boy sat down to make out a list of his life's goals. He wrote down 127 goals. He wanted to explore the Congo, Nile, and Amazon rivers. He wanted to read the complete works of Shakespeare, Aristotle, and Socrates. He decided that he would climb Mt. Everest and Mt. Kilimanjaro. He wanted to take off from and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. His final goal was to walk on the moon.

By 1986, John Goddard had accomplished 108 of those 127 goals. He knew that the key to a fulfilling and successful life was a sense of purpose and a clearly identified set of goals so that when life ended, he would have done those things that he deemed to be most important.
Research suggests that very few Americans ever take time to do what Goddard did as a 15-year-old. We don't have a sense of what we're trying to accomplish on a monthly or yearly basis. The first step in getting more done and producing results in our personal and professional lives is committing to a long-range plan of action that very carefully details the things that we want to accomplish.

Question number two: Do you have a weekly and daily written plan? Most people say they have a daily plan, but not a weekly plan. I call this "knee jerk time management". Monday morning you get to the office and you have 127 things to do that week. You determine to do all 127 on Monday. By the end of the day, when the dust is settled, the list is up to 128. Not only have you not accomplished most of what you tried to do, but some things have come up during the day that you've had to add to your list. Tuesday morning you start--full speed--to accomplish the list. And by noon on Tuesday you're so frustrated at your lack of results that you wad that list up into a ball and throw the paper out the window.

Planning one week at a time gives you a greater sense of organization and focus because it lets you control your schedule rather than letting your schedule control you.
Question number three: Is every item on your daily plan prioritized? Have you noticed that at the end of a typical day you've accomplished everything except the most important item on the list? This is "reversed prioritization." The easy things get done and the important things stay undone. Having a daily list is only part of the equation. Prioritizing every item on the list so that you know what needs to be done first is the next key.

Question number four:
Are you consistently utilizing a system of time management? There are numerous time management systems, some with very fine selling points. The system that you use, however, is less important than the fact that you use a single system and that you use it consistently. Determine which system you're willing to commit to for at least the next year or longer and begin using it every day.

Question number five:
Are you an architect or a fire fighter? An architect is one who designs the future. A fire fighter responds to crisis. Many of us become victims of other people who lack a system and the skills aforementioned. As a result, these people create crises or respond to crises that impact us. You must be proactive rather than reactive if you're going to produce results." (visit Mark Sanborn)

I know... a lot to digest. Take the weekend to think about a couple of these that speak to you. Then act!

Any thoughts?

1 comment:

marcijean5 said...

Number four is always the hardest for me... The self discipline it takes to implement time management on a consistent basis has always been my weakness.

Thanks Doug for taking the time to post this.