The Porch

Welcome to DORO – Pull Up a Chair

Take Control of that Mountain

Confident … Calm… Strong… Take control of that mountain.”  Kelly – Spin Instructor

Day One: Creating your own agenda.

In this morning’s class, the instructor pushed each of us to visualize a push up a hill. The analogy immediately took me to my real mountain: the work hill. On my desk, on the bedroom floor, on the bed – almost anywhere I look there’s some actionable item. Later, I thought even more about the concept of taking control of the actual projects and jobs that dominate my weekly calendar. With that I decided to focus the next 10 posts on Productivity.

Messy Desk

Where to start?

We often use mind games to deceive ourselves into believing that we’re productive. One is the Shell Game. Moving one specific task to a different shell (list) delays actually working on the project. The next is the 20 Questions Game. You begin the process and immediately ask a number of clarifying questions that don’t make anything clearer; they do nothing but defer action. You may have other tactics that you use that make it harder to get more done.

In the article, “Being More Productive” in the May 2011 Harvard Business Review (HBR), David Allen and Tony Schwartz discuss the many ways leaders can create a culture of productivity. One tip in the article deals with how we begin the day. Another ritual I have that aligns with David’s work is to always do the most important task of the day first thing in the morning, when I’m most rested and least distracted. Ninety percent of people check their e-mail as soon as they get to work. That turns their agenda over to someone else,” said Schwartz. Until reading that, I hadn’t realized how true that is as I often reach for the PDA first.

Creating your own agenda is critical to conquering the hill. Spend time this week determining your PWApersonal work agenda – in order to best prioritize the work on your plate. Let’s get at it!

LINK: Being More Productive on HBR.org

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