Are You Working As Effectively As You Can?
Are you trying to manage your time rather than yourself? – Clients often ask me to run time management courses, but when I talk to them it becomes obvious that the issue is not managing time as such, but is about how people manage themselves, manage their work and communicate with others. Different individuals experience different problems, for example:
- feeling that they can’t say No as people will think that they are being unhelpful
- thinking that they can’t negotiate deadlines and priorities with their manager as ‘everyone is busy’ so why should I be treated differently
- becoming overwhelmed by emails, and either trying to answer them all immediately and not getting any ‘real’ work done or they get swamped and ending up not dealing with any of them
- constantly fire fighting, never getting on with work that will help them in the long term
- having an ‘open door’ policy which results in constant unscheduled interruptions, disrupting their planned work
- mood and motivation swings throughout the week resulting in some very unproductive times
What problems do you have around managing yourself and you work?
Focus on what is within your control – I’ve written about Stephen Covey’s concept of the Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence in the April 2007 edition of Inspire (email me if you would like me to send it to you or get hold of a copy of his book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’).
You will feel much more positive, motivated and energised if you focus on what is within your control and your Circle of Influence. So check again that your actions both in and outside of work are focussed on what is within your control and influence. Be aware if your mind is constantly worrying over things that you have no control over – this leads to anxiety, lack of energy and headaches! Let go of anything that you are focussing on that you don’t have direct control over.
What is within your circle of influence? What do you need to stop worrying about in order to give yourself more energy and focus?
Be more productive by working less – when I was studying for my A Levels my dad would tell me about the ‘Law of Diminishing Returns’. I was studious and he was worried that I would overdo the studying! Of course he was right that after a certain point studying more and more does not bring about higher and higher grades, in fact as you get tired you become less effective, hence the diminishing returns.
A few months ago I read a very interesting piece of research on the online Harvard Business Review which had been carried out my Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy which looked at the following four areas (see April Inspire for more about these four areas):
- The Body – physical energy
- The Emotions – quality of energy
- The Mind - focus of energy
- The Human Spirit – energy of meaning and purpose
The research involved 106 employees (senior managers and lower level managers) in 12 regional banks in the US. There was also a control group. They used the banks own performance criteria over a year to monitor the impact of the programme. Participants in the research underwent four monthly modules covering the above four areas, plus support in between. They performed significantly better than the control group, with 13% more revenues from loans, and 20% increase in revenue from deposits than the control group.
This is something that I have been talking about on my training programmes for sometime. I am very aware that when we manage our state and mood in a constructive way we have more energy and are more productive and creative.
What can you do to boost your physical energy, improve the quality and focus of your energy, and ensure that your activities and life has meaning and purpose?
Want to know more? April Inspire will explore what Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy’s research did to assist people in raising energy levels and exploring how this can assist you.