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Welcome to the New World Office Blog

This is where I will be posting anything from tips on office procedures, email, file, or time management, email etiquette, and even things I may learn about various software.  Read on and join in!

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Entries in planning organizing time organize plan procrastinate procrastination (2)


3 Ways to Get Very Little Accomplished


Ok, FOUR ways to get very little accomplished.

1.  Ditch the plan for the day -  If there is nothing specific for me to focus on doing when I wake up, I end up just going through the day in a reactive way.  In other words, when I'm at my computer, I just respond to emails willy nilly, I get pulled in several directions as my phone rings, my email dings, and my cats sing (ok, meow, but that didn't rhyme).  When I wake up, I need to have a goal in order to get me going.  It could be to work on a specific project, to tie up some loose ends, or to head to the mountains for a hike.   If I have even a simple game plan, it's more likely it will be executed.

2.  Allow the details to overwhelm you - Often it's the small little things we need to do, and lots of them, that can overwhelm us.  If I have 3 projects to do, but 17 little things to do, THOSE are the things that bug me the most.  Unless I write them down and put a time estimate next to them to see how long each one will take, my mind blows these up and I get frustrated and stressed, which means I can't focus on the big picture. Once I realize each little thing only takes 2-10 minutes each, it puts them into perspective in my head, and I can relax more.

3. Get lost in email - yeah, yeah, I KNOW email is part of your job and reading and responding to your emails can help get things done.  But honestly, how often does this happen: 
  • you read an email, don't want to deal with it, close it; 
  • read another email, maybe respond; 
  • open an email, read it, then realize you read it before and that's one you don't want to deal with now, close it; 
  • read an email and respond quickly, 
  • read an email, don't want to deal with it, close it;
  • and on and on.  
Before you know it, an hour (or 2 or 3) has passed and the real work you need to do has gone untouched.  Right?  If we actually deal with, or process, the email when we read it, and set a time limit on how long we are on email, then we could get out of the email trap and get to working on our actual work.  



Too Nice to Look At

It is a gorgeous day outside.  I really don't want to be working indoors, but I have a lot of work to do.  Every now and then I look up, and being lucky to be near a window, I see the sun shining, the trees blowing gently in the breeze, and people walking or skateboarding around.  Or it could be considered unlucky to be near a window since I see all the stuff that I can't be a part of today.  My natural tendency to procrastinate is fighting to come to the surface.  There was a time when it would easily dominate.

Today, though, I'm in control.  I planned my day out with activities that needed to get done and put them on my calendar, with alarms, for specific time blocks.  The activity that needed most of my brain power I put in the morning so I could get it over with and not stress about worrying to do it the rest of the day.  My day was completely planned out, even giving myself breaks so I could go outside for a few minutes.

Then I got out of a morning meeting, and my day had to change.  Isn't that always the case?  I had work to do resulting from that meeting and had to re-prioritize what I was going to get done today.  It wasn't easy, but I pushed some stuff off to tomorrow because there was more than enough that I had to get done TODAY.  Put it all on my calendar, now I was good to go.

And every time I look out that window and long to be out there, or get a little stressed thinking about all the work I have to do, I just take a few deep breaths, look at my calendar to see what I need to be working on right now, and plunge in.