The “C” word being Christmas.
The countdown to Christmas begins this Friday and it is like any other project it needs to be managed and the focus of what it means to you, must not be lost.
Stephen Covey’s time management exercise “What matters most” is a great way of looking at Christmas. Covey invites delegates to squeeze big rocks into gravel. The big rocks represent “what matters most in life” and the gravel is just “stuff” e.g. work.
The only way the exercise works is to put the big rocks in place first and then pour the gravel on top. Delegates have been known to sweat profusely trying to squeeze rocks into gravel. This feels uncomfortable and to be honest is how life feels when you lose focus on the things that matter most.
Focus on Christmas and work back, ensure you are spending it with the people who matter most and get all the “stuff” into perspective.
We have all done the Christmas Eve shop and regretted it afterwards when the person you care about most is surprised and disappointed.
The biggest rock at the moment is Christmas, so therefore make it your priority.
Please do get in touch for workshop on Time Management email@example.com
The brain operates everything and in the evenings like any piece of machinery its tired. We turn the telly up a little louder as we can’t hear so well and we lose the ability to make decisions about what to eat, we are slowing down.
To relax you might look at your Facebook account, however the same process required to read an email is the same process as to look at your social media. The brain machine has the functionality to read whether it be work or not work. The mechanics cannot differentiate the same psychological activity whatever you are reading. If you are tired the topic won’t make a difference the machine is operating slower.
We need to maintain the brain as we would any other piece of machinery. Your car is serviced and requires an MOT, how much love and care do you give your brain:-
- Stare into space – give it a break
- Drink lots of water
- Eat the right food
- Keep up the agility – do a sudoko
- Limit screen time
- Physical activity
- Rest it – lots of sleep
Look after your brain this week and for a nugget workshop please do look at our website www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Too many things to do, and too many tasks and a shortage of time. We fall into the scarcity trap, which is where are cognitive bandwidth cannot process any more data. Long term memories are stored, but the short term space is limited. We make poor decisions if we have overload.
We need time to uncover and unwind, if we ruminate on the day it comes home with us. A psychologist, Zeigarnik explained how interrupted and uncompleted tasks stayed in the mind far longer than completed. The studies showed waiters remembered orders whilst the service was in progress when asked afterwards which orders belonged to which customers they were unable to recall. Tasks not finished fill the mind.
Multi tasking is not the answer as it takes 40% longer to complete a task if you have switched at some point. Doing two things at once is really bad for the concentration and quality will suffer. Studies in America suggest that speaking on your mobile phone whilst driving is as bad as being under the influence of alcohol.
Some suggestions for protecting your bandwidth are:-
- cluster tasks – just do email and only email
- one task at a time
- book two meetings with yourself everyday 15mins at the start and 15mins at the end of the day
- complete your hardest task first thing when you have the most bandwidth
- never read emails before a meeting it will affect your bandwidth
People who fill their bandwidth are creating the illusion of efficiency, if you have checked your emails before going into the meeting your mind is in the email not the meeting. Management of your bandwidth will lead to greater accomplishments.
Replace the word busy and approach busy differently…
Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on managing bandwidth email@example.com
Our behaviour is a function of our decisions and choices not our conditions.
We have the freedom to choose our responses despite the circumstances. We will always have our own imagination, conscience as to what feels right or wrong and our very own independent will to choose.
Reactive people are:-
- driven by circumstances, conditions whether they be social or physical
- if the weather is good, they feel good, if the weather is bad they feel bad
- when people treat them well, they feel well, when people mistreat them they become defensive
- mistakes are blamed on others, rationalised as being inevitable
- focus on concerns
- use “have” language
Proactive people are:-
- driven by values
- carry their own weather, rain or shine
- mistakes are acknowledged instantly and corrected, and learnt from
- focus on things they can influence
- use language with choice
- Eleanor Roosevelt said “No-one can hurt you without your consent”
Our ability to live a life of choice is our ability to focus on what we can influence and not focus on the concerns we cannot change.
Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on Proactive Thinking firstname.lastname@example.org
When information needs to be given quickly, there is no better way than by email. Unfortunately, with the benefit of speed come some problems that are not always predictable. Employees need to all be consistent in the way they engage with email and ensure that it is true to the values of the organisation.
Overall you should lead your in-box rather than be led by it.
How to take control?
- Book an appointment with it
- Ring fence the time you spend on the email
- Create 3 subfolders and put a #before the title so that they stay at the top
- #Waiting for
- #Read review
- Take the alert off, so you choose to go in, not “it” inviting you
- Remember email is not a to-do list
- email is “real” work integrate it appropriately
- The signature should be clear and accurate and all communication devices
- Take action immediately where you can
- Unsubscribe there and then
- Be realistic – zero in-box does not work for everyone
“Anyone with an inbox knows what I’m talking about. A dozen emails to set up a meeting time. Documents attached and edited and reedited until no-one knows which version is current. Urgent messages drowning in forwards and cc’s and spam” – Ryan Holmes
For a 90 minute workshop on making email work for you, please contact email@example.com for more courses tour our website www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk
How do you get to hear everything that is going on at your company? The smokers used to have all the insights, hard to advocate smoking in order to become savvy. In the US they would use the term the “water cooler chat”, so how do we really find out what the Directors are up to.
The word savvy itself, what does it really mean “shrewdness and practical knowledge; the ability to make good judgements”. So to be shrewd you got to be right place at the right time and then also the ability to filter fact from fiction. Savvy in my eyes is also quite cool some-one who just gets it.
From a company perspective you need three types of savvy to understand the full picture:-
- Business savvy – the numbers – what is the profit and loss?
- Organisational savvy – the people – how do you get things done around here, who do you know in finance, etc..?
- Contextually savvy – the outside – what is the bigger picture telling you about your own company? competitors, politics, economics etc…
Where they meet in the middle is an individual with their eyes wide open.
By becoming savvy we can begin to have an influence over decisions as we armed with knowledge.
Take a tour of our website to find more nuggets www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk
“What are we saying goodbye to…?”
“What do we want to say hello to…?”
A new year can be great to focus on what matters most. There are so many books and guides on how to set goals. However keep it simple and stick at it and the difference for 2017 could be the turning point.
Think of three things that will make the biggest difference to you and your business:-
- Putting your fees up
- Working less hours
- Developing two new areas of the business
To focus on these three areas what do you have to say goodbye to and hello to.
If you put your fees up, you might have to say goodbye to certain Clients and sometimes this might be the maturity of the business and the right thing to do. You are saying hello to being a credible business where you have identified your worth and you are charging the right rate for your expertise.
Working less hours also might be saying goodbye to certain areas of the business that you have been enjoying, however on reflection could be done by some-one else. You may well be saying hello to more time with your family or learning something completely new.
Developing two new areas of the business may well mean dropping some less profitable parts and creating and saying hello to a new product or service.
I always believe “What gets written gets done” – write down just three things that will have the biggest difference.
A very Happy Christmas from the team at nuggets and we will be with you again in 2017.
In the meantime please contact firstname.lastname@example.org