A Busy Woman's Productivity Plan
When I was in California last week I got to spend some time with fabulous friends and one of those was my pal Elizabeth. Aren't we cute, having dinner together?
Elizabeth has a big job as an executive at a company in San Diego and since she got this job about 4 years ago she has talked about struggling with the relentless demands of the responsibilities and how to manage everything in a work day. She stayed late at work, took calls on the weekend and always felt like important things were falling through the cracks.
Receiving hundreds of emails a day, managing programs that are inherently difficult in themselves, and fitting in to a new organization were her biggest challenges.
So, I was tickled when Elizabeth told me that she now feels like she has a pretty good handle on her work life and can most often easily be home by 6pm on a normal day.
Of course I was curious about how she went from harried, overworked executive to one who feels relaxed about her big job. She made 3 changes -
- She got a Blackberry. Voluminous emails were Elizabeth's nightmare and she is often on the road at meetings up and down the Southern California coast. She found that if she used the 10 minutes here and 5 minutes there in between meetings or waiting for things to get started to check and respond to her emails that she could keep a much better grip on them. She then found that when she returned to her office she didn't have a giant cyber-pile waiting for her. Lesson: used well, technology can be our friend!
- She began to say no to lesser priorities. Nobody needs to be on all committees, or respond to all requests for opinions, ideas, etc. Elizabeth found that if she said no to those requests that were not directly related to her duties and programs she was much more able to focus on successfully managing those priorities that really mattered. Lesson: saying no can be a very good thing.
- She dumped multitaksing. Elizabeth found that if she focuses strictly on what's in front of her, whether it be a person, an email, a proposal, or a meeting, without splitting attention to an additional task, that she moves through tasks and projects more completely and quickly. Lesson: multitasking is a LIE.
What are some of the strategies that you use to keep on top of your busy world? Leave a comment so we can learn from you.