Changing Your Focus

We accomplish much more when we learn to focus on others

There’s an old story of a young lady who was taken to dinner one evening by William Gladstone, and the following evening by Benjamin Disraeli, both eminent British statesmen in the late nineteenth century. “When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England,” she said. “But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.”

Disraeli obviously had a knack for making the other person the center of his universe, if only for the evening. If you practice attentiveness to others, you’ll find it does wonders for both of you. They’ll enjoy it; you’ll enjoy it. And together you’ll accomplish much more.

Make a conscious effort to think of others’ wants and needs before your own. Start training your mind not to focus automatically on what separates you from the other person. Rather, figure out what unites you, and how you can build upon that base. Soon such empathy will become a habit – a very good habit that will improve all your relationships immeasurably!

Time Management-Paperwork and Calls!

 

Managing the Intangible – Time: Handling Paperwork & Calls

Stop and think about it; few things are as valuable as “time”.  One can achieve great success, fortune, friendship, and love but time rules all of these. We control our achievements in life.  We can expand them or reduce them. We can set our sights on earning more money or connecting with others and expand our circle of those closest to us.  But time, is time. We simply cannot make more of it than there is. Each of us has a finite amount of it and its value is ever increasing.

The good news is in spite of its illusiveness, time can still be managed. We can choose to see time as a controllable commodity and live our lives according to that assumption. This is one of the secrets of successful people ‑ they work at shaping those things which others think are uncontrollable. There are a number of ways to manage our time.  How you handle paperwork and calls can and should be managed carefully.

HANDLING PAPERWORK

Try to answer any correspondence immediately. After you’ve read the letter, write your reply on the back if you are away from your computer and type it as soon as possible.

The other mail you receive should be dealt with in the same way. Act immediately on whatever you can. If you receive a magazine, peruse it and clip out articles you intend to read. Try categorizing your reading material into three groups: articles you must read soon, articles you should read, and articles that would be nice to read. Clipping the article makes it more accessible.

Adopt a policy of picking up paperwork only once. This means you should not look at something and put it back down where you found it. It’s much wiser to take some form of action on the item. Decide what to do with it and move it along to the next step toward completion.

TELEPHONE CALLS

The telephone is, of course, one of life’s greatest time savers. It saves time over writing letters, making trips, and meeting with people. It can also be a great time waster. To avoid spending more time than necessary in calling people back, follow these suggestions:

l. Determine the best time of day for you to return calls.

2. Prepare information in advance when you call back. You can pull files and gather documents which you’ll need to answer questions. This is obviously a time saver to you.

3. Curtail the length of your calls, when and where appropriate.

4. Be organized. List the questions or topics you wish to discuss and have them in front of you.

Special Note: This Blog is the seventh of a series of blogs regarding Time Management. Watch for the next one! And a special surprise at the end!

Time Management-Procrastination

 Managing the Intangible – Time: Preempt Procrastination

Stop and think about it; few things are as valuable as “time”.  One can achieve great success, fortune, friendship, and love but time rules all of these. We control our achievements in life.  We can expand them or reduce them. We can set our sights on earning more money or connecting with others and expand our circle of those closest to us.  But time, is time. We simply cannot make more of it than there is. Each of us has a finite amount of it and its value is ever-increasing.

The good news is in spite of its illusiveness, time can still be managed. We can choose to see time as a controllable commodity and live our lives according to that assumption. This is one of the secrets of successful people ‑ they work at shaping those things which others think are uncontrollable. There are a number of ways to manage our time.  Preempting Procrastination is imperative for many in managing their time.

PROCRASTINATION – it’s viral!

It creeps up on you slowly, drains you of energy, and is difficult to get rid of if your resistance is low. These suggestions will help you conquer the virus:

1. Give yourself deadlines. In moderation, pressure motivates. Extreme pressure debilitates. Set appointments, make commitments, write out your goals, and otherwise develop the determination to succeed.

2. Don’t duck the difficult problems. Every day we are faced with both difficult and easy tasks. Tackle the difficult ones first so that you can look forward to the easy ones. If you work on the easy ones first, you might expand the time that they take in order to avoid the difficult ones waiting for you.

Many people put off difficult or large tasks because they appear too huge to tackle in a reasonable time frame. They feel that if they start and complete the “large” task at one sitting, it will prevent them from accomplishing any of the other tasks they have to do on that day. The answer to this problem is to break all large or difficult tasks into their smaller subparts. Then, you can do each of the subparts of the larger project over a series of days, if appropriate.

3. Don’t let perfectionism paralyze you. This is a problem which many salespeople have when writing proposals. They sit with pad and pen in hand waiting for the “right” words to come out. What they are doing is avoiding the process of writing. Be prolific in your activities. You can always go back later and polish those things you’re unhappy with.

Humans are so susceptible to procrastination; you must building up your immunity to it. Effective action is the best medicine.

Special Note: This Blog is the sixth of a series of blogs regarding Time Management. Watch for the next one! And a special surprise at the end!

Exuding Competence

                                                                    Exuding Competence


Competence means being knowledgeable and skillful in your field; but it also means possessing a problem-solving ability that goes beyond your own specialty. If you don’t know the answer, or how to fix the problem, with strong competence, you know how to go about getting someone who does. Competence means having a can-do attitude and following through on it.

Exhibiting competence in knowing what you’re doing, or knowing how to get something done, is communicated to others in a variety of ways. There’s the obvious level of actually being able to do what you say you can do.

Your “nonverbals” – how you look, the sound of your voice – go a long way toward conveying competence. So does the style of behavior you choose – whether you come across as a very casual person, or as someone who’s a professional and takes herself seriously. Notice I said “the style of behavior you choose,” because you do have a choice.

And that’s my tip on competence: you can choose to behave in a way that exudes competence, or you can choose to undercut what skills you do have by looking and acting as if you’re not sure of yourself.

Your ability to gain influence with other people is dependent on how they see you – whether they judge you to be trustworthy, whether they think you really know what you’re talking about, or whether you can manage the tasks you claim you can. You’ll go a long way toward gaining that trust when you’re able to impress them with your competence.

How do you express your competence to others?

 


Time Management-Using A “To Do” List

 

Managing the Intangible – Time: Using a “To Do” List

Stop and think about it; few things are as valuable as “time”.  One can achieve great success, fortune, friendship, and love but time rules all of these. We control our achievements in life.  We can expand them or reduce them. We can set our sights on earning more money or connecting with others and expand our circle of those closest to us.  But time, is time. We simply cannot make more of it than there is. Each of us has a finite amount of it and its value is ever increasing.

The good news is in spite of its illusiveness, time can still be managed. We can choose to see time as a controllable commodity and live our lives according to that assumption. This is one of the secrets of successful people ‑ they work at shaping those things which others think are uncontrollable. There are a number of ways to manage our time.  Using a “TO DO” List is one of them.

USING A “TO DO” LIST

A list of “things to do” for each day and week is a great way to managing your time. A “To Do” list organizes your thinking and planning into one place in the least amount of time with the maximum amount of efficiency.  Such a list is especially helpful if it coincides with the record keeping you already do for your work. After a short time you will find yourself handling a greater volume of work without increasing your stress. You’ll simply become more efficient.

Your activities should be listed in order of priority. Work on high priorities first. In listing the activities, it is helpful to spell out the result as well as the process. Stating when, where, and what you’re going to do increases your chances of doing it successfully.

As the day goes by, check off completed activities and make any notes that seem relevant and add items that come up. In the evening, make out a new “to do” list for the next day and include any activities you couldn’t complete the day before. Always save your “to do” lists for future reference and evaluation.  Also recycle your electronic version of your “To  Do” list, if you’re using a computer, that way you’ve got a format you already like, it can emailed to your phone so it’s handy and items not completed can be carried over from prior lists without actually rewriting them.

Special Note: This Blog is the fifth of a series of blogs regarding Time Management. Watch for the next one! And a special surprise at the end!

Managing the Intangible-TIME-Keeping Records of Time Use

 Managing the Intangible – Time: Keeping Records of Time Use

Stop and think about it; few things are as valuable as “time”.  One can achieve great success, fortune, friendship, and love but time rules all of these. We control our achievements in life.  We can expand them or reduce them. We can set our sights on earning more money or connecting with others and expand our circle of those closest to us.  But time, is time. We simply cannot make more of it than there is. Each of us has a finite amount of it and its value is ever increasing.

The good news is in spite of its illusiveness, time can still be managed. We can choose to see time as a controllable commodity and live our lives according to that assumption. This is one of the secrets of successful people ‑ they work at shaping those things which others think are uncontrollable. There are a number of ways to manage our time.  Keeping Records of Time Use is one way to do it.

KEEPING RECORDS OF TIME USE

The experts in time management all agree that the more records you keep, the more you will be aware of the opportunities for improving your use of time. Even if you just do this once a month, it will give you a real snap shot of how you spend your time vs. how you believe you spend your time.  Trust, me those are two difference figures for all of us.

Through systematic record keeping you will learn, among other things, what tasks you’re having trouble with. You can actually chart your performance to get a graphic illustration of your strengths and weaknesses.  It can be a great tool for setting goals for self-improvement.

Special Note: This Blog is the fourth of a series of blogs regarding Time Management. Watch for the next one! And a special surprise at the end!