Monday, October 20, 2014

Are You Passive or Purposed With Your Time?

The subject of time management is one that I just can't get enough of not only because doing it expertly is essential to the level of success in my business, but it's also one of those things that is not mastered all in one shot, but the mastery of it is an ever evolving experience.

With that in mind, here's another time management insight for your consideration. Greater success in time management cannot be achieved until you are aware of how you function in situations by answering this question "Are you passive or purposed?"

Here's an observsation I've made related to myself and others and I'll use the context of work for this example. When I'm sitting at my desk or enter into my day, the days when I see clearly that my schedule is packed, I don't have a moment to spare, I tend to act and feel more purposed.

In fact the use of time has been purposed and when that occurs I act, feel, and interact with people differently through-out the day. I tend to be more assertive, time aware with each interaction, and even faster in the execution of certain tasks.

On the other hand, when my schedule is lighter - meaning less fixed items present, I tend to act more casual, work slower, when someone calls I may not screen it as closely,'s what's key, I allow someone else to take the lead in how my time will be used. In essence I am passive in that context.

Now we all need days that are low key, less intense and pressurized, but for many the passive approach is the norm or workstyle by which they function. In order to manage time effectively being passive or non-purposed as a practice will only lead to not getting things done, being over worked, being taken advantage of, critical deadlines being missed, more stressd... and much much more.

A key time management tip therefore is to be clear on the answer to this question, "Am I more purposed or passive in how I conduct my day?" This question can be used at home and at work.
Knowing the answer will give you clarity on your time management approach aka "I may not have one."

On a final note, I do believe there are days where we can and should have a more passive approach; it allows for spontaneity and a bit of refueling while still getting some things done. The key is to be aware enough to make the choice.

If you need a time management tune-up - then you'll want to get this resource: Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book -  The Seminar

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Your Job Search Begins While You're Still Employed

Ok I know that sounds like an odd statement. And, I bet some reading this have no plans anytime soon to begin a job search - not in this economy anyway. Yet, it is under these conditions that the 21st century job search is being transformed.

As I assist people with career transitions as well as provide support to close friends, it’s clear it’s a whole new ball game. It’s also clear that in some cases creative strategies need to be employed.

One job search component is evident - having a professional network in place, puts you miles ahead of those who don’t. For those I know who have gained employment (or gotten interviews), in many cases it’s been because someone referred them.

Additionally, interviews are gotten because they are extremely pro-active and persevering; they make phone calls, they keep following up, and they spend the time (hours) going through the painful, tedious process of plugging in their information on-line. My conclusion – a job search today takes a tremendous amount of character and confidence. The resounding comments, “ Looking for a job is a full time job and it’s tough.” Yep…it is.

And that brings me back to the title of this article. As your self-appointed career coach for the next few moments, please take to heart the following advice: Please don’t wait until you are laid off to start working on your employment prospects – build the foundation and nurture the infrastructure now!

Here’s a few tips to get you started:
1. Build and nurture a professional network of people who know you, trust you, and can honestly comment on the work you do.

2. Social Networking/Media is here to stay so use it. As I travel across the country conducting professional development seminars, there is a mix of attitudes about the social media presence in our lives. Some feel it’s turned into a down right invasion. No matter, accept the fact that it is here to stay and can serve you well, should you be in a job search. There are affinity groups, professional organizations, etc…that make it easier to connect, which will more effectively serve #1.

3. At minimum have a LinkedIn presence. My nephew in college already has one. If you choose no other, choose this as it is the original on-line professional connection source.

4. Please know some folks have found jobs via Twitter…so learn about it.

5. If you use Facebook, stay in the know about privacy settings and be discerning about what you put on your page. Believe it – recruiters comb the web for information. (See my post on "on line reputation.)

6. Digital resumes are helpful. What’s a digital resume you say? It’s a web site of sorts that can be used to present you in ways a flat one-dimensional resume cannot. Without giving away proprietary information, you can describe your work experience, projects, and successes.

7. Keep track of not only what you do, but also what you’ve accomplished. Figure out how to give numbers and percentages to what you do where possible.

8. Keep developing professionally – go to workshops and seminars even if your company doesn’t pay for them. Last week I heard a great story from a woman in my seminar that got promoted because she did that with her own time and money.

9. Develop an “enhanced professional presence.” You can volunteer to speak at an event, do a lunch and learn, comment or write for blogs, or contribute to news articles. I subscribe to HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Reporters are always looking for people to contribute who are involved in real ways (meaning outside the guru, consultant genre).

You’ll notice all of these tips are building a foundation and are practices of active career management. Those who are passive will be farther behind as they ramp up a job search.
The final tip?...make active career management a permanent practice in your professional life.

This blog is based on this book. In it are actionable ideas on being a better manager: The 1% Edge - The Workbook - Power Strategies to Increase Your Management Effectiveness

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Bottom Line - It's All About Habits

The Bottom Line…
It’s all about decisions that generate behaviors
that create habits.
Consider this formula: Consistent behaviors = habits = results

In fact, did you know that the sum total of your life could be spelled out with five letters?  That’s right. - H A B I T. Those five letters spell the word Habit.  Habits are automated behaviors. They produce consistent, automated results.

We each have automated behaviors that get the desired results and the undesired results in life. Ultimately in changing anything in your life, it’s helpful to view it through the lens of habits.

With that in mind, building an awareness of your habits is the final component of improving the “Me in Team and Time.” Building awareness means taking yourself off automatic pilot and becoming more conscious of what you’re doing.

Here’s a quick exercise:
Identify a positive, consistent behavior in your life by filling in the blank below:
 I’m in the habit

Now identify something you’d like to change, but identifying it as a habit…fill in the blank again.
 I want to develop the habit

Habits are the hard-wired behaviors created and mapped in your brain, sourced primarily from your subconscious.  The hard wiring, simply put, is the neural pathways mapped through doing or thinking the same things over and over again. 

So in order for a change to occur or a new habit to be created, a new neural pathway has to be built. The key – the new action has to happen consistently and long enough for the new pathway to be built.

This is one reason people get discouraged when setting and then not meeting their New Year’s Resolution or other behavior based goals.  The attempt to change does not happen long enough for the neural pathway to be created.

I recently ran across a poem devoted to the word habit.

“I am your constant companion; I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.  I’m completely at your command. 

Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.  I am easily managed.  You must merely be firm with me. 

Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men and alas of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great.  Those of you who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine although I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a man.  You may run me for profit or run me for ruin.  It makes no difference to me.  Take me, train me, be firm with me and I’ll put the world at your feet.  Be easy with me and I will destroy you.  Who am I?  I am HABIT!”

Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book -  The Seminar 

This blog is based on this book. In it are actionable ideas on being a better manager: The 1% Edge - The Workbook - Power Strategies to Increase Your Management Effectiveness