Effectiveness is something we are seeking or an area in which we strive to to get better. We must get things done. How can I get things done and be an effective leader at work, school and at home? Let me share a few tips that have helped me to get things done effectively.
- Make a list. I know no surprise. Remember a short pencil is better than the longest memory. How many times have I searched my memory bank for something I knew I would never forget, only to not be able to recall that tremendous nugget of wisdom. You can write it in a notebook, a piece of paper, or use electronic programs like Evernote. Just get it down where you can see and refer to it and then check it off as finished of file the information.
- Prioritize the list. Things came together when I learned that my list contained the ‘raw data’ but I still needed to put some semblance of order to the list. You cannot do everything that needs to or could be done today. You must ask yourself what three things if done today, will propel me toward my goals and objectives? The sense of accomplishment you will feel when you are able to check these three high priority tasks off your list will give you incredible energy. When and if you finish the three move on down the list.
- Tasks. Many of the things on our list are tasks. Tasks generally, cannot be done in one setting. Each day as I look at my tasks I try to write down all the activities that are contained within that task or project. So when I prioritize this task or the project becomes one of my three to accomplish today, I write two to four of the tasks down and work on those under my three daily priorities.
- I am a believer in the Pomodoro technique. This technique says we do better working in uninterrupted short burst of time. First, you must get a timer. There are several Pomodoro tools on the market. I use a free one called “Focus booster”. It is just basically a timer. You control how long you set the timer. I gather what I need for the accomplishment of my priorities and list. Then I set the timer usually in the 15-25 minute range. I set the timer and then start working. It helps you to crowd out the distractions and focus on the matter at hand. I cannot overemphasize how important this is to effectively get things accomplished. When you have completed the time/task get up and walk around return calls or drink a cup of coffee, before moving on to the next task/project.
- Put your phone away while working on task/priority lists. We are being bludgeoned daily by the unending interruptions of technology. I love technology, but like your dog, it needs to properly trained. There will be time later to surf the web, laugh at jokes on Facebook and to tweet. You will feel better about yourself and experience a sense of accomplishment when you have gotten some of your tasks finished.
- Get up early. Okay, I can hear you groaning. I know not everyone is a morning person. If you will train yourself to get up an hour earlier than normal and capture that time, you will find that your effectiveness goes up exponentially. If you get up before others in your household. You can read the Bible, pray, read, prioritize your day, and be calm and ready for the day. Oh, and did I mention you can have your first cup of coffee.
- Do the toughest item on your list first, even before you leave home if at all possible. Think how more effective your day will be if before the day really gets going you have already accomplished your hardest task? It will give you energy that will carry you through the remainder of the day.
- Read your Bible. I heard someone say one time “No Bible, no breakfast.” I have tried to live by that. If you are going to read the Bible, the time will not appear in your day, you have to schedule it and make it happen. Again, your day will get away from you, if you do not set priorities.