Well, here we are again.Preparing for another year ahead with enthusiasm and all good intentions about making and KEEPING our New Year’s Resolutions!  I don’t know about you, but mine are often the same every year – lose weight, exercise more, and have more work/life balance.  There’s not much I can share about the first two without knowing your current situation, but I was fortunate enough to attend the New Jersey Relocation Council’s (NJRC’s) Fall Meeting on November 14th and it was all about being more productive.  I believe that if you’re more productive, the other resolutions just might work this year since you’ll have more time to exercise, prepare healthy meals and organize your work and home life.  Here are a few things I learned at the NJRC meeting from keynote speaker, Julie Morgenstern, who spoke about her cutting-edge approach to improving workplace performance and maximizing productivity in six steps:

Step One:  Change your Perception of Time
Group similar items/tasks (like you would when organizing your closet).  Give them a consistent home and only put the most valuable items in your closet/schedule.

Apply the WADE Formula:
  • Write it down (in ONE place – Julie suggests a 2-page a day planner)
  • Add it up (put an estimated time to complete next to it)
  • Decide what to do (what action needs to take place)
  • Execute 

Each “to do” should have an action, a subject and a time.  For example:

  • “Review document – 30 minutes”
  • “Send proposal – 15 minutes”

Step Two:  The Four D’s
  • Delete (things that are not worth the time or do not add value to our goals)
  • Delay (put on a schedule for another day/time)
  • Diminish (streamline tasks to accomplish the goal)
  • Delegate (have a delegation strategy – Who?, How?, What’s the exact deliverable?, Upon return, what will you be looking for?  Give specifics.

Step Three:   Create the Time to Get Things Done.
It’s easy to move to the “quick hits” to check things off your list such as e-mail, calls, approvals, etc., but it’s important to make the time for more strategic or creative work such as writing, research, strategic planning and analysis.  All take time and if you’re not assigning an estimated time to each, it won’t get done.  There will always be 24 hours in a day!  At the end of each day plan not only for the next day, but the two days after that.

Step Four:  Break the Multi-Tasking Habit!
Research has shown that it takes 4x longer to recognize and process each  item when switching back and forth.  To help stay focused, batch process your e-mail.  Put the time aside to check e-mail rather than doing it consistently throughout your day.  

Step Five:  Know your Blind Spots
Be careful to avoid these nibblers of your time:
  • Perfectionism (be selective – know when to move on)
  • Procrastination (just do it!)
  • Interruptions 
  • Burnout (lack of rest/sleep)

Step Six:  Balance with P.E.P.
  • Physical health – take care of YOU first
  • Escapes – take time to recharge
  • People – surround yourself with people who make you happy

Just a caveat to this article – it’s based on the notes I took at the meeting and not on Julie Morgenstern’s exact words, but you get the picture.  These tips will hopefully help me (oops! I mean you – stay on track to keeping the resolutions this year!)   You can get more tips at http://www.juliemorgenstern.com/

Happy New Year! 

This article was posted on following categories: Relocation Tips