It’s easy for me to overdo things. I know, shocker. What can I say? I like getting things done. But the problem is that when I overdo, I underperform.
Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com/aniaostudio
For people driven to achieve, it’s a common trap. Even if we pare things down to the essentials, we can plow so deep into those that we’re just wasting our efforts—even while we think we’re making headway.
Instead of being satisfied with an effective level of engagement, we go over the top. It might be exciting at first, but it’s not sustainable and will actually set us back.
For the last few years I’ve taken a short sabbatical each summer. I’m looking to rest and focus on intense relational time with Gail. The challenge is unplugging from the Matrix.
Photo courtesy of Istockphoto/blowbackphoto
Anyone who’s attempted it can relate to the difficulty. I’m at the computer or on another device a large portion of the day, every day. I’m reading, interacting on social media, dealing with email, building my business. Plugging in is second nature. Unplugging is hard.
There’s nothing more useless than unfinished projects. But it’s easy to watch them stack up, isn’t it? So what can we do to wrap them up and ship them out?
Photo courtesy of Istockphoto.com/Pyrosky
I’ve been thinking a lot about unfinished projects since watching this video by my friend, Jeff Walker. Don Miller has also talked recently about completing things. It’s tougher than it looks, right?
I can tell you where my difficulty comes from.
Lousy communications is one of the biggest challenges any team faces. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost files, even whole conversation threads, in email. And no one likes triaging an inbox, even with a good system. So what if we had a better solution?
Running on My Laptop
We do, thanks to a team of online video game developers.
After pulling the plug on an unsuccessful multiplayer game, the developers at Tiny Speck Inc.—now called Slack—turned their attention to fixing the communications problems that undermined their own efforts. And I’m glad they did.
It’s easy to confuse abundance with blessing, especially in our work life. But sometimes abundance is just another word for burden. And it’s crucial for our success and satisfaction that we learn to spot the difference.
More opportunities cross my desk every day than I can manage, and I bet it’s the same for you—even if you don’t always realize it.
We face a constant temptation in life to take on more than we can handle. We just don’t have the bandwidth. But it’s hard to let an opportunity go, isn’t it?
Recently, I recorded two podcasts on the subject of delegation. The first dealt with the principles of delegation (Episode 42). The second suggested how you might delegate even if you don’t have a staff (Episode 43).
The primary reason to delegate is that non-delegation doesn’t scale. It is not sustainable. This is why so many people feel overworked, overwhelmed, and burned out. But there is an even more important reason to delegate: To enable you to focus on what you do best in order to maximize your impact.
Click to Listen
Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window
Our society puts a high value on achievement but not much on rest. I hear people brag about how much they work and play but never how much they sleep—usually the opposite. But what if sleep could help you achieve more?
My team and I just finished launching the Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress, and I am fried. We were down late and up early, day after day. Late-night emergencies and early-morning crises were the norm.
Ever since I began blogging, productivity has been one of my most popular topics. But I’m convinced we’re not always productive for the right reasons. Maybe this is why many people are productive but miserable.
Over my career I’ve been entrusted with a lot of responsibility. At one time, I was responsible for the well-being of over six hundred employees and a company legacy two hundred years in the making.
Whenever I ask a friend how they are doing, they inevitably respond, “Busy. Crazy busy.” It seems like all of us have more to do that we can possibly get done.
One of the most helpful time management principles I’ve ever found is David Allen’s Two-Minute Rule. The basic concept is that you take immediate action on anything that can be done in two minutes or less. This is the key to becoming more productive.
For years, I have used templates to improve my productivity. I create a template for any task I find myself doing repeatedly. So instead of reinventing the wheel every time, I do it once, save it as a template, and then reuse it.
For example, before speaking engagements, I always have a conference call with the event sponsor. Initially, I found myself asking the same questions. Sometimes, I would forget to ask something important, so I decided to create a reusable template in Evernote. (You can see it here.)
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by email that you wanted to just delete your email account and start over? If so, you are not alone.
Last week, I tweeted a link to one of my most popular blog posts ever, “Yes, You Can Stay on Top of Email.” Almost immediately, I received two email messages.