In my younger years, I was called a procrastinator by some. And I sure was. Identifying with this label gave me limiting beliefs about my ability to be organized later in my life. Shortly after I started my business, I reluctantly dialed into a conference call that promised to help “creative-types” get more organized. To my surprise, this call helped me embrace a new mindset: my organization will look different from others. This gave me a freedom which I didn’t realize before.
You don’t have to follow a prescribed method.
Build a strategy that works for you.
Here are four tips that will help you define how you manage your day.
- Interview. Ask others what they do to organize their day. Act like you’re writing an article. Be Barbara Walters. Remember, your findings work for the sources, not you. Let these discoveries inspire you.
How could you make the ideas work for you?
What did you hear that will be helpful to you?
Try a new experiment with what you learned. (See #4)
- Get the tools you need and love. Your mind will support you well to get things done if you are excited about your tools and if the tools work well. Get that pen that writes well. Buy that scanner. Use colorful folders.
- Get over it. Get over what others say about how you organize your day and time. If you think something will help you be more effective, try it. Let go of old negative labels.
- Experiment. Assess. Do it again. I started “experimenting” with various ways of planning my day and became a better planner. There is no right way. Just your effective way. When something doesn’t work, assess it.
What would make the approach work better?
What other approaches would work instead?
Is there a different version of this approach I could try?
By practicing these and other experiments I gained more time to be with my family and more time to exercise. I moved from a 40++ hour workweek to a 20-hour workweek. It took one intentional step at a time over four years. I am still refining. Be patient with steady progress, not paralyzed wishing for perfection.
We all have encountered leaders that left an indelible mark on our lives and thought, “I want to be like that!” Yet somehow our impact doesn’t live up to our desired outcome. I have found that great leaders aren’t superhuman but are normal people with a clear, consistent and credible leadership vision or personal brand. Let me explain a coaching strategy we use with clients to develop the three C’s that allow them to leave an unforgettable imprint on those they lead.
Be easy to understand. As a leader in your industry, you may tend to talk over your audience. Your people want to know what you really do and get you. Get clear on what you stand for.
Consider: What impact do you want your team to feel after an interaction with you?
Repetition is the key to learning. Ensure your leadership brand is a common thread in all of your communication, which may involve taking small risks. You might share an experience where you failed and persevered when you would otherwise keep it to yourself.
Consider: How will you share your leadership vision consistently?
Be authentic. Be a leader your team can rely on. A co-worker shared a comment about a panelist who had a strong personal brand. He said, “You can always rely on John to say something shocking and the audience will love it.” It was true. Everyone was engaged when John spoke. He inspired people to get their own opinion whether you agreed with him or not.
Consider: How do you want your communication to be faithful and dependable to your team?
Put the three C’s to work as you grow your leadership vision.
When we relocated, I longed for a sense of community and needed to work on building my network. I decided to think of this like work project. Set a goal, plan it and pursue it instead of hoping.
My goal: to have lunch with one person a week during my first year. Either a new person or someone I reconnected with since I lived in a nearby community twenty years prior.
Even for an extrovert, being in a brand-spanking-new community can be unnerving. I chose to focus on the fact that humans like to connect with one another. This kept me motivated.
Three networking concepts I found that made it easier:
- Act like a host. Practice “host behavior” versus “guest behavior”. When you host a party, you are welcoming and happy to see people.
- Take action when you make a good connection. Say, “I’d like to get to know you better because < share what caught your attention>“. Set up a date for lunch or coffee and keep mingling.
- Follow through. Email or call your new connection within 24 hours. Be memorable and authentic.
How can you be intentional with developing your network? How will this help you accomplish your goals?
It’s time for the Bertsch Family Summit, an intentional day my husband and I take to reflect and nail down our goals for the year. Some of you have asked how we do this and what tools we use. It’s simple.
- We schedule a day together in December or January.
- We shut off our phones.
- We don’t check email.
- We fill out the That’s A Wrap Guide.
- We share our discoveries.
- Then we do something fun together; think downhill skiing.
Start a Summit of your own. With a spouse, a friend or go solo. What outcomes would you like to celebrate when you are ringing in the new year? Too many times the year is closed out with thoughts of “I wish I did that” or “I would love to do this; I’m just too busy.” Not this year. Having intentions for the year gives you clarity about when to say yes and when to say no. Schedule progress checks quarterly. Put your plan where you will see it. It won’t be helpful buried on your computer.