All talk no action?

“Don’t talk it, walk it” – Lars Ulrich

For just over 40 years I played basketball at many levels that ranged from a social game through to playing in a semi-professional league. Regardless of the level I played, the teammate who frustrated me the most was the player who talked a good game, but their level of play couldn’t back it up. In some cases, they were blissfully unaware of it, whereas other occurrences saw the player always having an excuse for why they were unable to do what they said they would. Players like this were the teammates I knew I could trust the least when it really counted with the game on the line.

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Do you invest or waste time?

“Invest time, don’t spend it” – Jeffrey Gitomer

In the early 2000’s “Invest Don’t Spend” was 1 of 10 guiding principles my employer (System Software Associates) embedded within the culture of the organisation. “Invest Don’t Spend” essentially meant that return on investment (ROI) applied to everything. It was framed as “would you spend the money if it was your business?” The same logic can be applied to what gets our attention. How much time do you invest towards driving targeted outcomes versus wasting throughout each day and week?

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The profound effect of saying “No”

“Just saying yes because you can't bear the short-term pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work” – Seth Godin

I’ve always been involved in team sports so sharing success and having a sense of teamwork were engrained into me as what you do from a young age. The same principles applied at work since supporting colleagues was gratifying, sometimes necessary and a way for the team to grow. This mindset served me well until it got to a level where I started constantly putting the priorities of others ahead of mine. In a strange way I became more effective in my job when I learnt that saying “No” isn’t always a bad thing. 

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Do this to increase focus and output

“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target and hold it there, you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants” - Zig Ziglar

We’re more effective when we’re able to work in a rhythm. However, performing at our optimum level within an office environment can be challenging due to fragmented and disjointed workflows that can happen when trying to work amongst a level of interruptions, distractions and meetings. To succeed, it’s imperative to establish and maintain our preferred rhythm that’s complimentary to achieving targeted outcomes within expected timeframes.

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Stop pretending you're good at multitasking

“You can do two things at once, but you can't focus effectively on two things at once” – Gary Keller

Let’s face it, we suck at multitasking. Yet, we have so much to do we trick ourselves into believing we’re more productive if we multitask. We think we’re able to perform multiple tasks at the same time but in fact we’re not as our brain is just switching tasks. All we end up doing is achieving less, making more mistakes and feeling exhausted.

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Is it scalable and sustainable?

“A successful product may not be scalable, a successful process always is” - Faisal Khosa

As part of my job I get to see how people go about their work. Not surprisingly, the extremes range from very good through to very bad. While a number of factors come into play in determining whether an approach is good or bad, a good place to start is to ask: “Is it scalable and sustainable?”

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How to achieve the important outcomes

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” - Tom Landry

In my line of work, I get to meet and support many workers who either have the right intent but struggle to make progress, who would like to do better or who are feeling overwhelmed. While 65% of executives say the overwhelmed employee is an urgent problem (Source: Deloitte Human Capital Trends report), a far greater percentage aren’t maximising their potential. How can you achieve more of the important outcomes?

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Have you solved the email conundrum?

“Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what's important. It is a choice.” - Brian Solis

Ray Tomlinson originally invented email way back in 1971. While email didn’t become a standard until many years later, it’s ludicrous how email is such an issue for too many workers in 2018. Have you solved the email conundrum?

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What slows you down?

“Time is money” – Benjamin Franklin

Unfortunately, becoming more productive is easier said than done. There are no magic tricks to success - it’s a matter of combining knowledge with action each day to form habits. It can be easy to get bogged down at work due to the constant stream of deadlines, challenging targets and urgent demands for our attention. However, many workers unknowingly impede their own progress.

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The simple decision to making progress everyday

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” - Alan Lakein

How’s the New Year kicked off? Are you making progress or are you falling behind already? Why is it that 10 workers can have the same intent but only 6 of them achieve what they set out to do? There’s a multitude of reasons but the answer frequently comes down to a simple decision of scheduling when to take action. It may seem too simple to be true, but the positive impact from working from a carefully thought out calendar is profound.

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3 trends that will continue to change how we work in 2018

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself” - Andy Warhol

The Future of Work will dramatically change how we work. We’re already transitioning into this world that presents a level of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). As the year draws to a close, how will this impact us in the short term

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2 proven ways to stop wasting time in meetings

“The majority of meetings should be discussions that lead to decisions” - Patrick Lencioni

The Number 1 complaint I get from busy workers is they waste too much time in meetings. It doesn’t matter whether they’re face to face meetings or virtual meetings, workers don't have enough time to actually do their job. Does this happen to you?

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How to maximise outcomes between now and Xmas

“The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance” - Brian Tracy

Depending on when you read this, there’s only 14 work days or less until Xmas. That’s great news if you’re on schedule or if you’ve already reached your targets – you can enjoy this time of the year and even look at making some inroads into getting ahead of next years’ goals. But it’s a completely different situation if you’re behind schedule.

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Productivity's necessary to develop and sustain Emotional Intelligence

“IQ gets you hired, EQ gets you promoted” – Source Unknown

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) matters. Ninety percent of top performers have a high EQ (Source: Doctor Travis Bradberry). In the Future of Work there will be increased levels of artificial intelligence, robots and automation. However, machines have no empathy. It’s those with a high EQ who’ll stand out as the leaders and potential leaders.

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Will productivity help me?

“Each minute is a little thing, and yet, with respect to our personal productivity, to manage the minute is the secret of success” - Joseph Wirthlin

I often get asked the question “will productivity help me?” If you’ve heard me talk before you’ll realise I’m an advocate of productivity. However, let me step you through 4 scenarios.

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Worker stress is at its highest leading into Xmas

"A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work” - John Lubbock

Xmas for many workers is the start of the holiday period. Are you looking forward to the break or is your head mired in all the work that needs to be completed before Xmas? Besides work, there might be gifts to buy, functions to attend, a holiday to organise and so on. That sinking feeling of having too much to do could be a case of Déjà vu. But you soldier on convinced you’ll be more organised next year. The reality is you won’t unless you take specific action to break the cycle.

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Why some workers suck at getting their work done

"You are not your resume, you are your work" – Seth Godin

The difference between effective and ineffective workers is like night and day. If 2 workers in identical roles both have positive attitudes, how is it that 1 can drive outcomes and exceed targets, whereas the other frequently fails to reach expected outcomes or targets? The answer is work methods.

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The ONE thing to unlocking potential

The trick to success is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it” –Gary Keller

In the book The ONE Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan talk about it’s always the ONE Thing that delivers extraordinary results: “What's the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Workers usually have ONE Thing that constrains productivity to the extent they would be more effective if they were able to do this ONE Thing better.

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How ineffective are you?

“Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential” –  Stephen Covey

Not all workers are effective. The reality is some lose sight of focusing on the key aspects of their role that are important to success. Instead, they get caught up wasting time and effort on lesser important tasks. What can be done to break the cycle for ineffective workers?

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What are the limiting beliefs that are holding you back?

"You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights" - Brian Tracy

We don’t reach our potential if we’re unable or unwilling to let go of our limiting beliefs. This is often the difference between the people who continue to learn and evolve versus those who don’t. Mindset can be just as important as ability.

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