Friday, November 27, 2009

Ask someone for 7 minutes of their time

How many time has somebody asked you if you have a "second" and then 1/2 hour later you still are not finished with them? The problem here is not that the encounter or task took longer than 30 minutes, it's that the person requesting your time did not provide you enough respect to ask for a realistic amount of your time...probably because they did not even think about how long it would actually take.

It's easy to get caught in this habit. Everyone feels busy, you have to "get stuff done" but you don't have time to think about how long that "stuff" will take. Then when we work with others we have no idea how long tasks with them will take also. So both people's schedules are now being run by the seat of your pants.

Surprise somebody the next time you need a little bit of their time. Take a few minutes to think about how long it will take. If you are not totally sure, tell them how much time you estimate it will be. Try using an uneven or uncommon time amount. "Can I get 7 minutes of your time?" That will surprise them, maybe make them laugh, but if you have thought out how long it will actually take, you might be close!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Goals Undocumented typically mean Goals Unachieved

GET BOLD. Document your goals. Make them: Specific. Measurable. Time-sensitive. Then get time put in your calendar to start on them. Share them with others!

But do not forget .... you have to ask yourself, what happens if I meet this goal?

If the answer is not much, especially at an emotional level, then the chances of you achieving it are lowered.

A goal needs to be emotional for you. There needs to be a "vision" aspect to your goal. It needs to evoke a sense of your future self where you have accomplished something that makes you "feel" like you are now at another level. The problem with most goal-setting is it does not ask that question: How will I feel when I reach this goal?

You have probably read somewhere those that document their goals have a much better chance, on average, of achieving them. Part of that might be that documenting your goals makes you really think them through but part may be documenting your goals may make you CHANGE them or decide to eliminate one altogether. If you are not emotionally invested in it enough to at least write it out, how much are you going to be invested in doing all that you can to make sure you realize it?!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Do you have a back-up of .... yourself?!

So your computer crashes and you might be covered. You have probably, through work or through other avenues, created a back-up system so if you computer crashes or gets stolen, lost, etc. you will not lose everything.

So do you have a back-up system for yourself? What happens if you "crash" by getting sick or having to attend to some important personal matters? It's a good question for you as we face what might be the worst flu season in many years. The flu can wipe you out for up to a week or more. What happens to your job in this case? What happens to your team? What are the protocols?

It might be a good idea to ask these question with your main colleagues. What do we do when someone is out for a while? How would we cover for each other? How do we ensure nobody is "irreplaceable"? How do we ensure the team is up to speed on the most important matters? (not just one person.)

Be ready for the unexpected. Just having these kinds of conversations will reduce stress levels when something does happen, and heck maybe these kinds of questions are good "team-building" questions anyway.