Thanks to the Harvard Business review, we have a wonderful list of business tips to argue about, ponder on, and debate. Sure, it’s not what you could call comprehensive, but it’s certainly good enough to touch off some compelling conversation about what’s most important and what really doesn’t matter in your approach to business management.
Get through your to-do list – yep, this is vital. Everyone needs that simple and profound sense of accomplishment. One common suggestion is that you front load your day with a lot of smaller tasks so you can get a lot done and build up some momentum before lunch. There’s no doubt that going into lunch feeling like you’ve accomplished as much as the Marines do before 9 AM is a great feeling, but how do you avoid that after lunch downturn when that Big Job is still staring you in the face?
Avoid that lag by partitioning your project. Do the “biggest” stuff first. Don’t save it for last. So, how can you do the big stuff first and still accomplish a lot before lunchtime? Break it up, and count each completed task as a “smaller” win. Don’t try to eat the whole elephant in a single bite no matter when you get started.
You may also want to consider tackling similar projects at the same time rather than jumping from one thing to another. This will allow you to keep more of your focus and your momentum.
Reduce distraction – these distractions could include emails, phone calls, and even something as esoteric as unrealized dreams. You know those “goal” pictures some people put up in their office to motivate them? Well, they can just as easily distract you from your task and set you to daydreaming.
Worry is another potential distraction. Have you done all you can about whatever worries you? Good, now move on and do something productive. Don’t try to “stop” worrying. Instead, focus on accomplishing what you CAN accomplish. Whatever you’re worried about is out of your hands, but you can accomplish something within your power to do. So, instead of a day wasted, lost and distracted and frustrated, you finish the day with a series of “wins” and the knowledge that, whatever comes with that Other Thing, you’ve given it your all.
Take the time to understand, to ask the right questions and seek the real answers. Yes, enthusiasm is vital, but you can’t get by on only attitude and volume. You are much better served by actually knowing and understanding rather than “trusting your gut.”
Spend some time intentionally thinking, planning or just blocking out the noise.
While most gladiators love to be in the ring, sooner or later you need to step away and recharge. If you find yourself going from one battle to another without respite, two things will happen. Eventually, you will run down, crash, and burn. And, long before that happens, you will screw things up because you are running at less than top capacity. So build some rest into your schedule and force yourself to take advantage.
So, manager, what do you think? Which of these tips landed with you, and were there any that shouldn’t make the list?