27 Jul

Are you a slave to distraction?

I’m going to assume that losing the use of your mobile phone would be most people’s worst nightmare. Probably for some more than others, depending on how attached you are to it or how much you rely on it.
I liked to think that I wasn’t one of those people who was completely hypnotised by this little device, but alas after my mobile phone went on the blink I have had to come to terms with the fact that after only one day of not being able to use it, I am showing signs of withdrawal. The biggest issue for me, is not knowing. Losing the ability to receive information and be updated immediately.
So whilst developing nervous twitches in my eye and hand, I started thinking about all of the other “things” that distract us during our day. Things that shift our focus from what is important and prevent us from completing and achieving our goals.
 
I hear people complaining about not having enough time in their day or their week to get to important jobs and tasks. I wonder how much of their day is filled with unnecessary distraction, which very quietly steals precious time away from them?
So here is an experiment to work out your ratio. Productive working hours vs. wasted work hours:
1) At the end of your work week document 5 key tasks/jobs that you would like to complete every day for the upcoming week. Or select a goal, which needs to be completed in a week and then break the goal into smaller, manageable goals, which are then distributed into the week.
2) Plot these tasks into your weekly planner for the upcoming week. By completing this it gives you a head start and you don’t feel as though you are starting the week on the back foot.
3) When the week begins you will now have each day planned out for you. After each day, spend 5-10mins documenting your day.
  •  Did you achieve your 5 tasks/jobs for the day?
  •  If you didn’t, why not? What stopped you from achieving the tasks?
  • If you did achieve all 5, well done. Why did you achieve everything on your list?
  • Complete this after-action review everyday and see what the end result looks like.
  • Where and why did you win and where and why were you challenged?
  • What distracts you? Were the distractions people, your motivational levels or your environment?
4) If you had to eliminate or manage those distractions, what would your week look like? How productive could you be?
The other thing which also needs to be raised, is do we necessarily need to know what is going on in the world all the time? How debilitating can the distraction of information overload be on your business and personal life?
My new goal, don’t allow unnecessary distractions from taking over my precious time. How about you?
Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.
14 Apr

Less is more

“I wish there were more hours in the day!” I’ve heard this expression too many times before and sadly even from my own mouth. “ If I just had a few more hours, I could complete so much more!”. 
 
Of course if we were granted these extra hours, we would excitedly fill them up with more appointments, projects and stuff and then when we couldn’t squeeze anymore engagements into the already crammed and overflowing diary we would quickly turn around, bat our eyelids and with open hands ask for more time, please. Unequivocally we are our own worst enemies and end up back were we started, time-poor.
 We somehow believe that the more we do and the busier we are, the better, more successful and productive we will become. Sadly, this delusion doesn’t make us more productive, it just makes us more stressed, tired and unfocused. This coming from someone who has bought the original T-shirt and seen the movie, multiple times on the subject.
I believe there are a couple of lessons to learn here. So for all the busy, overextended and overcommitted people out there, If you only had three hours in your working day how would you spend them?
Stop, put on the brakes.
Before you start overloading your precious time with meetings, take a step back and ask yourself these questions:
1) What are your long term goals? Have these long term goals been broken down into manageable medium and short term goals?
If you had to rack your brain and rummage around to look for your notes on your goals, or you’ve just been to busy to even define them, then I’d suggest that you first spend some time reminding yourself what you ultimately want to achieve.
2) Once you have a handle on your goals, review your to-do list. Do the tasks on your to-do list align themselves to your goals?
Those irrelevant items that have somehow snuck onto your to-do list, why are they there? Just remember, being busy isn’t going to win you any awards. It’s about the quality of those tasks, not the quantity of tasks.
3) Be ruthless with your to-do list. If the tasks, projects, appointments etc. do not drive your goals, then remove them from your list.
4) Now that you have reduced your list, select a maximum of 3 items. These tasks should be fundamental to achieving your business goals. These are the tasks you want to work on first. The other tasks can be scheduled after these critical ones. Not everything is important and urgent. By being objective your to-do list can be streamlined significantly.
By reducing our time, it forces us to think about how relevant the tasks that we perform are. Don’t fall into the trap of asking for more time, change your mindset and rather ask yourself. “Which tasks are irrelevant and if removed from my to-do list will give me more time in my day?”
 Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.