We all want to have control over the day to day operations, so nothing falls through the cracks; you are focussed on keeping your commitments with your clients as it is crucial for building your trust and goodwill.
You are also focussed on being prepared for the future so that your business can thrive in the ever-changing environment.
How do you make sure that you are doing more of the right things to ensure that happens, that you are not only surviving but are moving towards your goals, you would like to achieve in 2 years, 5 years down the road?
The challenge faced by leaders of small and medium businesses is to be able to get out of the daily grind to focus on the big picture and lead your organization towards its goals.
Measure your own control and perspective with a simple 2-minute quiz we call GTD-Q
Gaining control and perspective
Getting Things Done or in short, GTD is a practical methodology by David Allen, author of New York best-seller. GTD is considered the gold standard in personal productivity and offers simple tips to help you with control and perspective:
Capture what has your attention
To start with, you need to write down all the commitments you make to your self or anyone else in one place.
You cannot keep a commitment you don’t remember you made.
Process: Clarify and Organize
Clarify: For each of these open loops, make decisions about what to do and what not to do. Organize your tasks using an effective list manager, be it a paper diary or an app.
Task Lists: Keep a list of actionable things you need to do when you have the window of time.
Inbox Zero: Separate your actionable and non-actionable emails and drive your email inbox to zero on a regular basis.
Have a list of your projects/outcomes that are going to take more than one action to finish, so that you can review it often and move it towards completion.
Delegate more. Keep a list of things you are waiting for other people to do – with the dates you started waiting and date it is due if there is one.
Once you have this, review it frequently (at least once a week, but as often as you need to) to avoid things falling through the cracks. It also holds others accountable because they know there is tracking.
Equip/train your staff so they can handle the increase in workload without increasing their stress. Consider if you need to upskill your staff to be able to not only handle the task you are going to delegate but also giving them some training in productivity.
Delegate effectively for critical projects by sharing your vision with your employees about how you would like it to be done.
Make a list of larger goals: A good exercise, one that will serve you well in achieving your goals is to sit down and make a list of all the outcomes you want to achieve in 2 years’ time. Write the list as if it has already happened.
You want to keep your attention on these, so you don’t get caught in the trap of the latest and loudest.
Establish a habit of conducting a weekly review, where you set an hour aside each week to look over your tasks, delegated list and project list.
Take inventory of your tasks and what you are waiting on. Marking off what is completed and making notes for follow up where needed.
Review your calendar, past and upcoming so you can catch what you may have missed and be prepared for what is coming towards you.
Review the status of each project and add to your task lists as needed. As your priorities change, your perspective also changes. A project that was awesome when you first noted it may not make sense to continue given new developments.
Review your goals, the larger outcomes you want to achieve in the coming years. Add any projects you must do now to achieve these goals, to your projects list.
Make room for what is important: Reflect on your current inventory of things to do and make room to allow activities you can do today to help you reach those goals in 2-3 years’ time.
Keep this list current by reviewing regularly and adding/removing from it as needed. Your circumstances will change and so will your goals.
Make a trusted choice of what to do, moment to moment, day-to-day
Develop Keystone habits Review your calendar and tasks lists before you open your email.
Make a Punch list: When reviewing your task lists, make a punch list to target when you have time during the day.
The 2-minute rule: This simple yet wonderful rule alone can save you months of your life. When you come across a task that takes you 2 minutes or less to finish, and if you can do it where you are, it is best to do it there and then. As it takes longer to list it, track it, go back to it and do it.
Calendar and tasks go hand in hand: Keep your calendar current with things that need to be done on a day. It goes hand in hand with your task list.
Written by Komal, who is Founder and Managing Director of Productivity First, an Executive Management Consultant, a Certified GTD Coach and former Chair of the APSIG committee for Victoria for The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Her company Productivity First is a certified international partner of the David Allen Company for Australia. Productivity First offers Productivity Training and Coaching using Getting Things Done Methodology to individuals and organizations.