Five Good Tips For Busy People

“Unless you are an hourly worker in America, boundaries between work and leisure are dead. Work bleeds into life, and life bleeds into work. People have the smart phone, aka the “digital leash”. Work will never be the same. It’s already gone.”          Kris Dunn, VP of People, DAXKO, The Blurring Line Between Work and Life___________________________________________Kris and the group speak the truth. We all know it although we may not like it. So, what do you do to “mesh” the elements of your life without it becoming blurry. I’m not a fan of blurry; clarity yields a more peaceful lifestyle.So, as I head off to sunny (hopefully) Florida to moderate a Learning panel at IQPC Corporate University week, I’m thinking about personal blurriness and how to clear it up. Here are 5 Tips that work for me and I believe will do the same for you:1. Scrutinize Meetings: Look at every invitation skeptically. If there’s no clear agenda, stated ending time, or no purpose that involves your own purpose, “no” would be the right response. BTW: A lot of people would rather avoid the “no” and believe they can sit in the back and work unassumingly on something else. Nah, doesn’t fly–and, it’s not very courteous.2. Learn when to stop: There’s a fascinating dynamic at work here: the more pressure we feel the more we tend to hunker down and work even harder and longer. Harder and longer usually lead to working past the point where we’re 100% attentive. The result: Reduced, or little, effectiveness.  And, it often requires going back and doing the work all over again. 3. Do take time:  to accurately convey your thoughts to others. How easy it is to rattle off instructions by phone or email when we’re hassled. The result? Discovering (too late) that someone responsible for a key part of your project misunderstood what you said you wanted.Accurate communication is always a time-saver over the long run.4. How many ways can you learn to say “No!”? Develop at least a half dozen polite variations until you can say them on cue.. Then use them. A lot.The best way to prevent personal overload is to stop saying “Yes” to requests. Oh, the person requesting your time is your boss? Here’s what to do: seriously and politely ask for clear priorities and explain that you need to know what to drop to make room for the new assignment. I think you’ll be surprised at how often this will prompt your boss to reconsider the work assignment; and, (s)he will realize that your request has been helpful in clearing up departmental priorities.5. Consider Consequences. Think ahead, and not just about what you want to see happen.  Business folks are, by nature, results driven. “Driven” can lure us into focusing only on the goal and forgetting about the fact that bad things can happen. Tight deadlines can really be an enemy to ignoring risks. Rushing into action without counting the cost can prove to be the most costly way of operating. What could go wrong and what will you do if it does? An ounce of prevention. . .Off to Orlando in the (too) early a.m. Will try not to do the next post from the back of the room!Related reading for busy people: Leadership: When “No” Is More Important Than “Yes”How To Influence Up
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Steve has designed and delivered leadership and communication programs for some of the world's largest organizations, and has more than 30 years in training, development, and high-level executive coaching. His Roesler Group has created and delivered leadership and talent development internationally for corporations such as Pfizer, Minerals Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, NordCarb Oy Ab, and Specialty Minerals--Europe. Steve is currently involved in the latest update of his Presenting With Impact program, a cross-cultural presentations workshop that has been delivered on five continents to more than 1,000 participants representing nearly 60 nationalities.

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Five Good Tips For Busy People

“Unless you are an hourly worker in America, boundaries between work and leisure are dead. Work bleeds into life, and life bleeds into work. People have the smart phone, aka the “digital leash”. Work will never be the same. It’s already gone.”

          Kris Dunn, VP of People, DAXKO, The Blurring Line Between Work and Life


Kris and the group speak the truth. We all know it although we may not like it.

So, what do you do to “mesh” the elements of your life without it becoming blurry. I’m not a fan of blurry; clarity yields a more peaceful lifestyle.

So, as I head off to sunny (hopefully) Florida to moderate a Learning panel at IQPC Corporate University week, I’m thinking about personal blurriness and how to clear it up.

Here are 5 Tips that work for me and I believe will do the same for you:

1. Scrutinize Meetings: Look at every invitation skeptically. If there’s no clear agenda, stated ending time, or no purpose that involves your own purpose, “no” would be the right response. BTW: A lot of people would rather avoid the “no” and believe they can sit in the back and work unassumingly on something else. Nah, doesn’t fly–and, it’s not very courteous.

2. Learn when to stop: There’s a fascinating dynamic at work here: the more pressure we feel the more we tend to hunker down and work even harder and longer. Harder and longer usually lead to working past the point where we’re 100% attentive. The result: Reduced, or little, effectiveness.  And, it often requires going back and doing the work all over again.

Busy-people 3. Do take time:  to accurately convey your thoughts to others. How easy it is to rattle off instructions by phone or email when we’re hassled. The result? Discovering (too late) that someone responsible for a key part of your project misunderstood what you said you wanted.

Accurate communication is always a time-saver over the long run.

4. How many ways can you learn to say “No!”? Develop at least a half dozen polite variations until you can say them on cue.. Then use them. A lot.

The best way to prevent personal overload is to stop saying “Yes” to requests.

Oh, the person requesting your time is your boss? Here’s what to do: seriously and politely ask for clear priorities and explain that you need to know what to drop to make room for the new assignment. I think you’ll be surprised at how often this will prompt your boss to reconsider the work assignment; and, (s)he will realize that your request has been helpful in clearing up departmental priorities.

5. Consider Consequences. Think ahead, and not just about what you want to see happen. 

Business folks are, by nature, results driven. “Driven” can lure us into focusing only on the goal and forgetting about the fact that bad things can happen. Tight deadlines can really be an enemy to ignoring risks. Rushing into action without counting the cost can prove to be the most costly way of operating.

What could go wrong and what will you do if it does? An ounce of prevention. . .

Off to Orlando in the (too) early a.m. Will try not to do the next post from the back of the room!

Related reading for busy people:


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Steve has designed and delivered leadership and communication programs for some of the world's largest organizations, and has more than 30 years in training, development, and high-level executive coaching. His Roesler Group has created and delivered leadership and talent development internationally for corporations such as Pfizer, Minerals Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, NordCarb Oy Ab, and Specialty Minerals--Europe. Steve is currently involved in the latest update of his Presenting With Impact program, a cross-cultural presentations workshop that has been delivered on five continents to more than 1,000 participants representing nearly 60 nationalities.

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