Friday, January 30, 2009

The Multi-Tasking Quiz - What is Your Score?

Count the number of questions where you respond "Yes" :

1.) I have eaten a sandwich with one hand while typing on my laptop with another.
2.) I have completed work while sitting in a live training class.
3.) I have looked up a contact number on my phone WHILE driving.
4.) I have conducted a full meeting with a colleague while checking email basically the entire time.
5.) I have put one call on speakerphone (mute of course) and used my cell phone to make another call.

Score of 2 or less: You .... serious?
Score of 3-4: You are a typical accountant.
Score of 5: Look out! You will go to any extreme to multi-task. You may be dangerously addicted.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What is on YOUR peoples' minds? Do they always tell you?

There is a quote in this week's Business Week from Frank Blake, CEO of Home Depot, when asked about leadership:

" what extent do people feel comfortable saying what's on their minds?"

Ask yourself that question about your colleagues. Ask them if you are not sure about what their answers would be. If there is some hesitancy in their answer ASK THEM how the air can be cleared so much between the two of you where there is no hesitancy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How much time do you spend "thanking"?

Do acts of appreciation make us more happy? Maybe. When expressed to others they can sure make those other people happier!

How much time do you spend in expressing appreciation to those around you? Sure the obvious times are when someone does a great job on a project, but what about the less obvious opportunitties?

Appreciation fosters positivity and confidence and reinforces good deeds.

How much are you showing appreciation to those around you? How much time are you spending looking for specific opportuntities you can express appreciation to those around you.

THANK about it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"I am Bad at Estimating How Long Something Takes"

That is hogwash. Accountants are good at estimating the time it takes to complete tasks and projects. We have experience. At one time or another in our careers, we have been tied to a meticulous budget. Of course, for most, meeting a budget typically meant "miracle making"!

It really is not the time estimation that trips us up. What we are may times bad at ... estimating the time it takes to deal with distractions, interruptions, and the "switching time" costs of multi-tasking.

Tomorrow take a look at one small task you have to get done and before you do it, estimate how long it will take. Then just do it! I bet you will be pretty accurate. Is that because smaller, quicker tasks are easier to estimate? Maybe, but it is also because they are easier to get done in one fell swoop.

It is not the "estimating" part that is hard. It is the discipline to do what you plan to do next without interruptions and distractions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How do you Introduce Your Colleagues?

OK, so maybe you have created a "laser introduction" for yourself. It describes you and what you do in a way that gets people interested.

How do you introduce your colleagues to others? Most of the time you just introduce them with their name. You are at lunch with a colleague and you see somebody you know and you make the introduction. Simple.

What about in a more formal situation? Maybe you are introducing a colleague to a client? What do you say? What are the one or two POSITIVE & MEMORABLE things you can say about your main colleagues?

Why does this really matter? It matters to your colleagues. A positive introduction tells them what you think about them and it also sets the tone to the client. If first impressions are so important then maybe first introductions are REALLY important.

Think about it. Consider spending some time in creating fascinating introductions of your colleagues. They will appreciate it and they will really remember it. They might even live up to it!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What is your warm up routine? (at work)

What gets you going in the morning once you have started your work-day? How do you set the tone to have a positive attitude and positive day?

What is the routine you utilize to get you going each morning? How do you plan your day, so you know specifically what you want to get done that day? How do you plan NOT TO get interrupted?

What renews you?

Working with a team all day? What can the "team" do to warm up?

Surprise people with bagels? Have each person on your team share a joke each morning? (no joke I met an audit team that did that one busy season) Hold a 5 minute beginning of the morning team update? Get creative ... whatever gets peoples' blood pumping.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What is your warm up routine? (at the gym)

So we are told about the importance of warming up before exercising....something to get your blood pumping and your muscles loose.

Some ideas, many of which you may already be doing:

Getting on the treadmill or an elliptical or a stationary bike for a few minutes. Walk or jog 1/4 of a mile (equivalent to one time around a track).

Walking up and down some stairs.

Shooting some baskets on the basketball court.

Jumping rope.

Make your "warm-up" automatic, make it a routine, and make it fun!

As always, consult a doctor before you start or significantly increase your physical activity.