Posted in Bite size learning, motivation, Relationships, Stress management, Time management

I’m a celebrity teamwork…

Last night in “I’m Celebrity get me out of here” we saw the most amazing team work.  They were all involved in a challenge and there was no-one who did not have a role and no-one who did not perform.  Albeit very different to an office situation we can learn a lot from a group of people who come together and focus on a common goal.

The 7 hallmarks of a highly effective team give you an idea of how those random celebrities are learning to work together:-

  1. Shared vision – food seems to be the ultimate vision instead of focusing on winning as an individual this group seem to be motivated by enjoying decent meals together.
  2. Clear objectives – the trials are all about getting stars and the instructions are very clear.
  3. Team resources used to their best – sometimes they don’t get a choice as to who to deploy, but when they do, they think about the physicality and the enthusiasm of every member of the group.
  4. Open atmosphere – the camp is surrounded by cameras although in previous years we have seen whispering, the team at present seem very comfortable with sharing all their stories and some of their more intimate rituals.
  5. The team regularly reviews its progress – there is a lot of encouragement during a trial and a lot of commentary as to how much time you have left.  They chat about their experience and review their own performance.
  6. The team builds on experience – the trials get more horrific but the team know which critters are worse than others and seem tougher every time from learning from the last interaction.
  7. The team can ride out storms – when there are no stars or a camp mate is particularly down the group rally and morale lifts them.  Last night showed how they can work together with tight time constraints.

The office might not be the jungle, however how many of the hallmarks can be applied to your team.  As an exercise get each team member to give a score out of 10 as to where you are currently on each of the hallmarks.  Revisit the score in 90 days to see if you can come up with actions to improve the score.

For a team workshop please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, mindfulness, Time management

Book summary of “When” by Daniel Pink

The scientific secrets of perfect timing

 “We all know that timing is everything. Trouble is, we don’t know much about timing itself.” Daniel Pink

 Pink explains that we use our gut to make decisions on when we should eat or sleep when in actual fact there are scientific answers.

The book covers three main lessons:-

  • Our emotions run through the same cycle everyday
  • Knowing how you “tick” will help you do your best at work
  • Taking a break or an afternoon nap is not counterproductive, if anything it helps you save time

If you divide the day in three parts the obvious answer would be morning, afternoon and evening. A global study by Cornell University analyzing 500 million tweets in 84 countries with 2.4m users. The sociologists used a linguistic inventory word count to ascertain the dominating emotion for each of those parts of the day. Their findings were:-

  • Morning peak – Whether its right after waking up or 1- 2 hours later, most people feel pretty good early in the day
  • Afternoon – the tough period after lunch
  • Evening rebound – after work you have a gear change and enter recovery mode

The same variant pattern applied across genders, race and age. Pink described this as Peak, Trough and Recovery.

Similar studies produced the same results, they looked at standardised testing of Danish students. Every hour later in the afternoon produced a decrease in the students score, so not only emotions but performance alters according to time of day.

The results would suggest that in business we would be best allocating tasks accordingly:-

  • Peak – analytical tasks – intensive thinking and vigilance
  • Trough – administrative activities
  • Recovery – creative activities less intense focus

Corporations don’t focus on when only the what and how and yet the variance in human performance has an impact.

Even with this study in mind you still here people say “I’m a night owl” or “I love to get up early”.

Other studies can analyse your chronotype whether you are a Lark, Owl or something else which Pink describes as Third bird.   Larks are the ones that love to get up early. The Owls can get to work at 9.00pm and don’t like getting up early. The Third Birds are the people who are neither early or late just follow the standard pattern which is the largest group.

The old fashioned view that breaks were a waste of time is changing with the spotlight on mental health. A time tracking company DeskTime did a study using millions of data points determining the ideal break to be 17 minutes for every 52 minutes of work. That means one hour down for every three hours.

The other study Pink shared was the “nappuccino”, you have a coffee after lunch and then set a timer for 20 minutes. It takes 7 minutes to fall asleep, you wake up a little later refreshed with the caffeine kicking in.

Viewing human performance through “When” could alter the way you manage your time and your life.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Time Management bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Management, Time management

Summary of Agile

The principles of Agile can be applied to any team they are not exclusive to software development.

The Agile manifesto with its 12 principles was created back in 2001. Underpinning the concept is creating a learning culture which came out of the Toyota Production System. This was the Lean principle one of the foundations of Agile.

All of the 12 principles can be put into 3 main categories:-

  • Clarity & Transparency Delivery – approaches to improve how teams understand their system of work
  • Learning & Leaning – Approaches to improve and optimise team processes
  • People focus – Approached to creating an autonomous and engaged culture

The set of principles increases the awareness of the team to different approaches that lead to improvement over time.

Clarity & Transparency Delivery

  1. Regular measurements & milestones
  2. Clear intent & continuing prioritisation – vision and goals
  3. Understand what is valuable – to the customer
  4. Visualised work – white boards

Learning & Leaning

  1. Minimise waste
  2. Repeating tasks to spot incremental changes
  3. Limit work in progress
  4. Short feedback loop

People focus

  1. Team effort and collective ownership
  2. Empowered to improve as a team
  3. Collaborative learning
  4. Driving process through people interaction

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Time management

Taking back control…

Don’t just be a follower in the office world, start to lead your behaviours and your thinking.  Take back control of your time and your mental well being.

Challenge your attendance at meetings by ensuring you know the purpose before you attend.  If you are chairing the meeting keep it short and memorable. More than three participants will it really give you the answers you need.

Manage your email by booking an appointment with it, don’t drift in and out of your in-box, a lot will be irrelevant and take your mind away from work.

Type messages on a proper keyboard, nothing is that urgent that you have to resort to a tiny phone key pad or use emojis for real actions.  Everyone can wait.

Always have a proper to-do list and rank the items in order “what if…?” If that task was not completed what would be the worst that could happen.

Be realistic and only write down the tasks you will really complete that day.  Create buckets for the other tasks, e.g. weekly, monthly and overall project list.

Pick up the phone more and speak to a “real” person, often quicker than the email, to get your view across takes many written words.

Ensure that you do not have your phone with you at meal times, enjoy the ritual of eating again. Go a stage further and ask that there are no phones at your meeting, (it will be a lot faster with no distractions).

Give yourself space and time for thinking, book an appointment for it.

Take back control and lead your life.

Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching or a Time Management workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Management, Time management

Unlocking time…

Time is a non spatial continuum it does not exist and yet we are forever referring to it as if it is a commodity. “I never have enough time” or “I don’t know where the time goes”.

If we evaluated are own behaviours associated with time, it might begin to explain are association with it.

Pause and answer the following questions:-

  • What did you do with the last hour in work yesterday?
  • How do you feel about time today?
  • If you had an extra hour what would you do with it?

The last question has to be answered by saying something you would do specifically and sleep is not allowed as an answer.

When we look at these questions we need to decide whether we are controlling time or is it controlling us.

The last hour at work, were you in charge, or were you working on other peoples work or were you tired and unproductive.  This review of the last hour is quite enlightening as to how you are managing your priorities.  The last hour ideally should be spent getting yourself ready for the next day.  Take time to write down what you want to achieve tomorrow.

How do you feel about time today? This is time to recognise the quality of time and enjoying the hours you have.  Being pro-active in your mindset about how you will spend it and the value you will get from it.

The extra hour  is  identifying, what matters most in your world.  We often answer the question with something that is linked to what we value in life.  Spending time on our mind, body or with our loved ones.

Please do get in touch to book a workshop on managing time

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Stress management, Time management

Getting “stuff” done

Your best work gets done when it needs to be done, you have to want it and be ruthlessly intolerant.  With clear priorities and focus you work on the right things at the right time.

Only YOU are accountable for getting “stuff” done.  We find it easy to set monetary targets however we need to give the same priority to time targets.  Unproductive people have no idea where their money has gone.

Success is about our behaviour and how we manage the time we have.  Your goals and your achievements are compatible to your behaviour.

Each week think about what you want to achieve and put that as the heading of the week.  Achievement underpins motivation and having one big goal for the week, will be you identifying what matters most that week.

David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done describes the process.  If we can put all of our stuff in buckets, nothing gets lost and it is out of your head and into a system.

The buckets:-

  • Daily – the to do list, only what you can do that day (be realistic)
  • Weekly – what is the biggest thing you want to achieve in the week
  • Monthly – headings that give an indicator of how effective you were in the month
  • Annually – year to view on one page, with your holidays and key dates
  • Projects – present and future so that everything is captured

Please do get in touch for a practical approach to Time Management bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Relationships, Stress management, Time management

Getting ready for the “C” word…

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 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk