Category Archives: Productivity

Can Others Help You Win in Your Business?

An independent business owner (IBO) often thinks he has to “do it all.” For example, he may say, "I AM my business, who else can help with this?” You can outsource just about anything, for a price. Many IBO's may do this for technical things (web development, printing, etc.) but try to fight through the marketing, selling, Social Media, development, administration and accounting, etc. You cannot be good at everything! Even if you work in a specialized field, there are probably things you are not so good at and that cause you to waste a lot of time. Consider how you can partner with people around you to create win-win situations.

For example, the networking organization BNI (www.bni.com) is structured as a sales team for each member of the group. You sell for the other people and they sell for you. A great way to expand your sales efforts up to 40 fold, in just a few hours a week.

Action:

  • Consider what is on your plate.
  • Rate on a scale from 1-5 what you are great at vs. what you don't like and takes you a lot of time
  • Brainstorm how you could collaborate with someone else to get this done. Since this is thinking outside "buying" assistance, consider how to make win-win situations.

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

10 To Do’s When You Are In a Rut

do something

  1. Stop the mind spinning – do a purge page and get it out!
  2. Review where you are trying to go and what is in your way
  3. Be thankful for what you have and is working
  4. Give yourself 24 hours to be in a funk and commit to moving on after that
  5. Clean and remove clutter that is weighing you down and distracting you
  6. Get out and observe the world – allow for new thinking
  7. Do something for someone else (pour out on others positively)
  8. Talk to someone to get a plan and accountability
  9. Take ONE step – do ONE thing
  10. Align your actions to the results you want

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

Stop Procrastinating

MomentumAs you harness your energy, budget your time, say no, get a hobby, etc. you will begin to see a shift in how much time you have. We cannot make more time, only use what we have most efficiently and effectively. You cannot be on all the time, so planning for breaks and scheduling for a maximum of 12 hours of "things" a day is key.

When you know what you want to do, are clear on how to get there, you have ½ the battle won. The only part that is left is the momentum to get into action and then accomplishing what has been laid out. There is where some people procrastinate. There are 100's of ways people do this, from straightening, playing computer games, talking, distracting themselves, etc.

The best way to get into motion is just to start.

  • Make your to do list the night before, so your mind can subconsciously process it all night.
  • "Eat your frog" first (the most important thing you have to do; do it before anything else).
  • Notice when you start procrastinating; write the "strategy" you used on a procrastination list that you have pinned up in a noticeable spot. (naming your tactics will help you stop them quicker)
  • Make a game. Determine either a reward or a punishment if you get X task done in X amount of time.
  • Make yourself accountable. Let someone else know what you will get done by when, and send it to them, work on it the same time as them, etc.

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

Recharging With Downtime

Siesta Key Beach sunset 3Many people feel so busy they feel they just don't have time for a day off. So they keep working hard, day after day. Motivational speaker, Brian Tracy, encourages people to take a FULL day off where they do not think about work at all. The benefit of this allows your brain to rest and recharge. You will be more productive after time off than if you keep trying to push it.

I is good to not only take a day off, but engage in a fun hobby or downtime activity. When people take time to do their hobbies, they are even more energized, fulfilled and motivated to work hard. There is a new energy and life when people are doing things that they are passionate about and love. They seem to work faster in the job so they can be awarded with a little spare time for a prized hobby.

  • Decide what day you can take off 100%. (This will not be perfect, but aim for this).
  • Clear your calendar; tell people you are booked (appointment with yourself or family) and only put personal things on that day.
  • Determine a hobby that you would like to do that you really enjoy. Often this is something that you have not done in years (play instrument, woodworking, etc.) Dust off the old tools and use that skill.
  • Make time to do this hobby at least 2 hours a week.
  • Watch how your energy is renewed.

How often do you take a full day off? How long has it been since you had a hobby?

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

Collaborate For Win-Win Situations

compassionA small business owner often thinks he has to “do it all.” He may say, ”I AM my business, who else can help with this?” However, you can outsource just about anything, for a price. Many people do this for technical things (web development, printing, etc.) but try to fight through the marketing, selling, development, administration and accounting, etc.

You cannot be good at everything! Even if you work in a specialized field, there are probably things you are not so good at and that cause you to waste a lot of time. Consider how you can partner with people around you to create win-win situations.

  • Consider what is on your plate.
  • Rate on a scale from 1-5 what you are great at versus what you don't like and takes you a lot of time
  • Brainstorm how you could collaborate with someone else to get this done. Think outside "buying" assistance, consider how to make win-win situations.

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

The Power of Saying “NO”

I say NOWe are in a season where activities and demands are picking up. There are more schedules to manage and pulls on our time. In general, we want to be helpful and accommodating to people. Therefore we hate to say "NO". People often do anything to avoid this word. We will avoid people, redirect conversations, make excuses, be non-committal or simply say "YES" to things we know we will have a hard time following through on. The reality is we simply cannot do everything. When we keep saying "YES" to things we are adding on "stuff" to our "plate" which causes overwhelm, stress and frustration. Even though we would like to answer "YES" to everything, we must learn how to say "NO" in order to have a peaceful life which exhibits quality, balance and basic sanity.

How do you do it? When you say “YES” to a new activity, you have to say “NO” to remove something else that is already on your full plate. Here is how:

  1. Be clear on your priorities and what is important. If you are not clear, you will not have a compelling reason to say "NO" when you feel drawn to accept a new item on your plate. Try to strike a balance with the "Essential 8": family, friends, work, health, budgeting, fun, physical space (home, office, car), and personal growth (spiritual, educational, personal development). i.e. #1 Family. I will spend 5 hours a day taking care of my family and making sure they get their needs met. #2 Work. I will spend 8 hours a day working on projects that produce an income of $5000/mo. so I can provide the best for my family, etc.
  2. Set filters for each of your Essential 8 areas. You want to have your Essential 8 listed by priority and set a filter for each (take the purpose/goal for each area and then be clear on what fits and what does not). Take special note of the proportion each area is getting. If priority #1 is family, #2 is work, #3 is health and you have 100% work commitments and no family time or personal care several things will happen. Your health will suffer which will then jeopardize your physical ability to complete those tasks and your family will interrupt and demand superhuman feats for you to squeeze their needs onto your already full plate. These filters will help you discern what things you need to say "NO" in order to maintain balance.
  3. Evaluate what is on your plate. Considering each of the Essential 8 areas and your priorities, determine what your "needs" are. "Should's" need to move to one side of the fence. Do you need it or not? Consider your balance so you have some big projects (meat), some personal care (veggie), some daily necessities (good grain/filler), and a hobby/fun thing (dessert). These are the things to which you are saying "YES!"
  4. Say "NO" to the things that do not meet your filters. These may be the least important things on your list OR new things that come up in your life. Remember whenever you say "YES" you are saying "NO" to something. If you say "YES" to a weekend project at work, you are saying "NO" to your family time that weekend. You may not have to tell your family "NO" but that will be the result. If you say "YES" to volunteer at the evening carnival you are saying "NO" to your workout – which could result in your being more tired and lethargic and therefore less productive the next day.

When you say "NO" you have more power to say "YES" to what is important.  Remember "NO" can mean never, it can also mean, "no, not right now".  Let yourself have some space to do what is important. You will experience the power of balance and boundaries which will result in you being more effective and productive. You will enjoy less stress and more peace with your life.

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

Time Estimating Your To Do List

What to doMany of us make to-do lists. Usually, they are long and filled with a variety of tasks. Not only is it essential to prioritize the list of items, but also estimate how much time each task will take. Often when you do this, you find you have two days worth of to-dos on your list. One thing that zaps our energy is feeling overwhelmed and getting distracted. When you have long to do lists that are not even reasonable to accomplish, often much less gets done.

If you take your list, budget how much time important tasks will take, you can then plan them into your day better. If you have a 10-minute task, you can plan that for a 15 minute downtime period. If you don’t do this, people usually take 10 minutes just to figure out what they are going to do and then they only have 5 minutes left to do something, which is not enough time, so then nothing gets done (or they start a project and are stressed and then late for the next appointment.)

It also helps you to plan your day to see that you need 2 hours of blocked time to "eat your frog" (the #1 most important to do). This way you can plan your day to get that big thing off your plate. I guarantee when you get the weight of a large project off your back first thing in the morning, you will be supercharged and excited for the rest of your day. Then knowing what you will do, how long it will take you and "budgeting" when you will do it, creates a clear focus and drive for you to accomplish many more things in your day.

In order to put this into practice:

  • Take your prioritized list of to-dos and write behind each how much time each will take (pad with extra time not less)
  • Look at your schedule for the day and plan when you will do which tasks. If you have a large task, see how you can break it down into parts that fit into your day.
  • Write specifically what you will do on the calendar. (i.e. budget 1 hour to write a newsletter. Have a 15 minute opening in the AM; plan to write the intro to the newsletter.)

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

Tackle the Important and Stop the Urgent

The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People_by_Stephen_R_CoveyStephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says that one of the traps of ineffective people is getting caught in doing the urgent rather than the important. Bottom-line this is reacting to life rather than responding.  While urgent things will come up, they seem to happen more when you are not planning. Eventually everything will become a crisis. STOP.

When you care for the important you will have less urgent things to deal with. There will always be truly urgent things, but these are called emergencies, not daily urgent tasks. Make a list and determine what is important for you to do to move forward with your business (or life). What do you need to do in order to accomplish these goals? This is what is important.

It often seems like it will not matter if important things get done today or tomorrow and therefore often are perpetually put off until they become urgent. It is similar to the bad habit many of us had in school with reading. The teacher gives us what is important to read each week. Students are busy and do not read what is important and then a few days before the test when there are 200 pages of reading, the assignment now becomes urgent. Thus the cycle begins as we create urgent tasks that would not be urgent if we did the important things we need to do each day.

In order to break this cycle, it is important to :

  • Recognize the cycle and how much time you spend reacting to the urgent.
  • List what you are trying to accomplish (your goal)
  • Decide what is important to do today to reach that goal.
  • Determine what is important this week to reach that goal.
  • Highlight these things on your to-do list.
  • Block one hour in your day to do the important tasks.
  • Force yourself to do the important today and watch how the overflow of urgent tasks decrease off your plate

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

 

Prioritize: Empty Your Full Plate!

Eat That Frog!Brian Tracey has a great book, Eat That Frog. This book is awesome for illustrating the basic concept of prioritizing. In order for you to get your plate empty you will have to stop and assess what is the most important thing for you to get done. Our to-do lists do not usually include unimportant things to do. Everything is important. (The urgent things don't even make the list, they just take up time so we don't even get to the lists). Then, when we just start chipping away at to do lists, we often eat desert first. We do what feels good but is not really most essential to our performance.

Tracy's concept is whatever is the most important thing you need to get done, do it first; this is your frog. Do it before you do anything else (including urgent things – unless it is a real emergency). Your frog is the #1 thing on your to do list. As you get that done, you will have more energy for everything else on your list and will be able to accomplish more in your day besides having greater results as you take care of the most important things first.

Action:

  • Make a "to do" list nightly.
  • Prioritize the list.
  • The #1 item is your frog. Compete it before you do any other projects.
  • Make it your goal to do the complete the next 5 top priorities before moving on to anything else on the list.

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com