Today: a fact and a simple invitation to redeploy the knowledge you have.
The fact: Internet and associated technologies have made worker-leaders
busier and heightened demands upon us. The Pew Center on the Internet
found in September of last year that nearly half of adults said the
internet increased their work hours (46%), stress (49%) and the difficulty
of disconnecting from work at home (49%). (Oh, there’s an upside to be
sure: 80% said it’s imporoved their ability to do their job.) Nine months
later, I suspect the stress and demands have mounted measurably due to two
factors: layoffs have increased workloads, and technology keeps adding
more ways to connect to work. Among the technology changes are two:
Upgrades in mobile internet connectivity, and utilization of social
networking – use of the latter quadrupled among adults from 2005 to 2009 –
adding another burden (of opportunity) on us.
So, if you’re feeling hyper-extended, you’re not imagining it and not alone.
Here’s the invitation: Focus on ONE strategy that has helped you to be
time-effective in the past. I’ll offer some suggestions, but the keys, I
believe, are adopt a focused, single strategy; and focus on what works for
you, regardless of what works for others.
Here are some suggestions. Again, I invite you to put one up on by
deadly computer in front of you:
• Without fail make a goal/to-do list (daily or weekly or in the
interval that works for you; I prefer 2-week and 6-week goals that I keep
• Close the Windows! Work on one application at a time.
• Keep a “no” list to force yourself to say no to things that don’t add
• If you have an assistant, ask them to screen and flag your email
• Set specific times in the day to do email and voicemail; don’t let
them constantly interrupt your workflow
• Ignore the blackberry during meetings and meals (be clear about
exceptions and communicate them to senders, e.g., kids, assistant, as well
as to those interrupted)
• Reject the multi-task temptation when it comes to people. To quote
David Crosby in a different context, “Love the one you’re with!” Be
present. It’s nicer, more efficient, and less crazy-making.
If you accept my invitation to adopt a (single) strategy, tell someone
you’re doing it and ask them to help hold you to it.
As always, I invite you to hit the comments button and share what works
for you and learn what works for others – as you:
Lead with your best self,