Never Check E-mail in the Morning. By Julie Morgenstern

•Delegating is a competency that presents the three question quandary:

 

1.A question of time: theres not enough time to do it all yourself; theres not enough time to explain what needs to be done; and theres not enough time to let people make mistakes.  How do you strike a healthy balance?

2.A question of tasks: what can and should you delegate?

3.A question of trust: you must depend on someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

•Dont delegate:

 

1.Tasks that reflect precisely why your company hired you in the first place.

2.Tasks where youre the only one with the expertise to make the tough judgment calls.

3.Tasks directly on the revenue line, where your unique talents shine.

4.Tasks that bring you joy and define the meaning of your job.

 

•Do delegate:

 

1.Tasks that deplete you of energy or time you need for more critical activities.

2.Tasks you honestly arent that good at doing.

3.Tasks that belong on someone elses job description.

4.Tasks you are doing out of habit, or comfortbut are not the best use of your time.

 

•For routine tasks, it is almost always worth investing time to record the steps on paper and train someone else.  An initial investment of time will free you up for years to come.

 

 

•4 key elements of delegating:

 

1.Be clear on the outcome, creative on the path

2.Define the due date and never be vague about this one.

3.Define the limits of authority.  Be clear about where someone can make independent decisions and where they cant.

4.Define follow-up procedures.  Decide together how follow-up will occur.

 

•6 gripes about workplace relationships (avoid these):

 

1.Inaccessibility

2.Unreliability

3.Rigidity; not flexible or adaptable 

4.Disrespectfulness

5.Vagueness; ambiguous, wishy-washy

6.Unfairness

•Work isnt about the number of hours you put in, its about what you actually get done.  You must periodically ogle top performers in your company who routinely leave while its still light out, and still manage to produce enormous amounts of work.  Are they just whiz kidsblessed with a speedier brain?  Or are they managing their day better, using their time at the office more efficiently?

 

•E-mail is the biggest time-suck of the modern workday.  We interrupt ourselves every five minutes to check our in-boxes, hoping for something more interesting, more fun, or more urgent than whatever were working on in that moment.  Checking e-mail interrupts continuity in our thought process, and not surprisingly, our productivity plummets as a result.  E-mail is undoubtedly the worlds most convenient procrastination device.  How many times before making a difficult call, or starting a challenging project, have said, Well, let me just check my e-mail first?

•The most dramatic, effective way to boost your productivity is to completely avoid e-mail for the first hour of the day.  Instead, devote that first hour every day to your most critical task.  Its a bold statement to the world (and yourself) that you can take control.

 

•Average e-mailers receive about 20 e-mails per day and send 5; this involves about half an hour per day.  Power e-mailers receive at least 50 e-mails a day and send out a minimum of 20.  Which one describes you?

 

•People who plan their day find that time stretches; they are suddenly able to get so much more done, yet the day seems calmer.

 

•Which nibblers are you most vulnerable to?

 

1.Perfectionism

2.Procrastination

3.Interruptions

4.Meetings

 

•Selective perfectionism: the art of deciding which tasks need to be perfect, and which ones can just be good enough.

 

•Do a fast and sloppy version; practice shitty first drafts.  Relax your standard and write whatever comes to mind.  Assume it will be awful.  The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

 

•Meetings keep people from working on other revenue-generating taskslike responding to customers or prospectingbut few people realize the huge tab poorly run meetings can run up.

 

•5 Keys to Effective Meetings:

 

1.They have a clear purpose

2.Only the essential people are included

3.They are concise as possible

4.They will benefit from the in-person aspectie., not achievable by memo, phone or e-mail

5.They end with a clear plan of action

 

•For rambling off topic during meetings, have someone record side issues in a notebook called the parking lot.

•9 Competencies for making your work life work:

 

1.Embrace your work/life balance

2.Develop an entrepreneurial mindset

3.Choose the most important tasks

4.Create the time to get things done

5.Control the nibblers

6.Organize at the speed of change

7.Master delegation

8.Work well with others

9.Leverage your value

 

•The 3 tiers of employees:

 

1.Top tier (20%); the star performers.  Do everything you can to keep them happy and motivated.  They deserve all the extra attention and recognition you can afford.

2.Middle tier (60%); most employees.  Treat them fairly, respectfully and reward them in normal, regular increments.

3.Bottom tier (20%); the underperformers.  Dont waste your efforts trying to fix them.

 

•Your business is your entire career.  You are in charge of it.  And every employer you have is a client on the long journey of your career.  You are the owner of a service-based business where you must meet and exceed customer expectations, adapt to the needs of the marketplace, and stay competitive by offering something unique.

 

•When it comes to prioritizing, focus on a very simple concept-- everything you spend your time on should be assessed in terms of its proximity to the revenue line.

 

•Which of the tasks on your to-do list are closest to your companys revenue line?  In most cases, its the activity that will immediately do the following:

 

1.Generate revenue (call customer)

2.Create the product or deliver the service (make the doughnuts)

3.Save the company money or time

 

•Three questions to help prioritize which task you should work on first:

 

1.How long will it take?

2.What is the return on investment (ROI)?

3.When is the deadline?

 

•Letting go; the flip side of choosing whats most important is knowing what to relinquish.  Letting go is perhaps the most difficult challenge of all especially for the high achiever in all of us.

Unexpected Strategies

 

Letting go; the flip side of choosing whats most important is knowing what to relinquish.  Letting go is perhaps the most difficult challenge of all especially for the high achiever in all of us.