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How Often Do You Find Yourself Running Out of Time Part 2 by Marcia Zidle

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How Often Do You Find Yourself Running Out of Time Part 2 by Marcia Zidle

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For many, it seems that there’s just never enough time in the day to get everything done. Are you one of them?

Did You Take the Time Management Quiz in Part 1? 
What was your score? What elements of time management do you need to work on? Here are the top five with suggestions on how to master them.

1. Goal Setting (Questions 6, 10, 14, 15)
To start managing time effectively, you need to set goals. When you know where you’re going, you can then figure out what exactly needs to be done, in what order. Without proper goal setting, you’ll fritter your time away on a confusion of conflicting priorities. Yes, it does take time and effort initially. Isn’t it worth it if it gets you on the right track and not get sidetracked?

2. Prioritization (Questions 1, 4, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15)
Most people have a “to-do” list of some sort. The problem with many of these lists is they are just a collection of things that need to get done. There is no rhyme or reason to the list and you go from one task to another.  Furthermore you may be working on the wrong things – the in the face urgent vs. the strategic important. So how do you work on To Do List tasks – top down, bottom up, easiest to hardest?

 3. Managing Interruptions (Questions 5, 9, 11, 12)
Having a plan and knowing how to prioritize it is one thing. The next issue is knowing what to do to minimize the interruptions you face during your day. As a manager you get phone calls, information requests, questions from employees, and a whole host of events that crop up unexpectedly. Some do need to be dealt with immediately, but others need to be managed to minimize your interrupted time.

 4. Procrastination (Questions 2, 10, 12)
“I’ll get to it later” has led to the downfall of many a good manager. After too many “laters”, the work piles up so high that any task seems insurmountable. Procrastination is as tempting as it is deadly. The best way to beat it is to recognize that you do indeed do it. Then you need to figure out why. Perhaps you are afraid of failing? (And some people are actually afraid of success!) 

 5. Scheduling (Questions 3, 7, 12)
Much of time management comes down to effective scheduling of your time. When you know what your goals and priorities are, you then need to know how to go about creating a schedule that keeps you on track, and protects you from stress. You have to create a schedule that reflects your priorities and well as supports your personal goals plus leave room for the unexpected. Control your time and keep your life in balance by reading.

Smart Moves Tip
Time management is an essential skill that helps you keep your work under control and keeps stress to a minimum. Listen to Dana Phillips on The Business Edge and get great tip, tools and techniques to “Take the Pain Out of Time Management!”

 

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge  on the Voice America Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.

 

 

How Often Do You Find Yourself Running Out of Time Part 1 by Marcia Zidle

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How Often Do You Find Yourself Running Out of Time Part 1 by Marcia Zidle

Surprised business man consulting his watch

Weekly – daily – hourly? For many, it seems that there’s just never enough time in the day to get everything done.

When you know how to manage your time you gain control. Rather than busily working here, there, and everywhere (and not getting much done anywhere), effective time management helps you to choose what to work on and when. This is essential if you’re to achieve anything of any real worth.

Take this Quick Quiz
It will help you identify the aspects of time management that you need to improve. Decide, on a scale from 1 to 5, how well each of the 15 statements below best describes you. Answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be), and don’t worry if some questions seem to score in the ‘wrong direction’.

(1) Not at All             (2) Rarely        (3) Sometimes         (4) Often            (5) Very Often

1.  Are the tasks you work on during the day the ones with the highest priority?
2.  Do you find yourself completing tasks at the last minute, or asking for extensions?
3.  Do you set aside time for planning and scheduling?
4.  Do you know how much time you are spending on the various jobs you do?
5.  How often do you find yourself dealing with interruptions?
6.  Do you use goal setting to decide what tasks and activities you should work on?
7.  Do you leave contingency time in your schedule to deal with “the unexpected”?
8.  Do you know whether the tasks you are working on are high, medium, or low value?
9.  When you are given a new assignment, do you analyze it for importance and priority?
10. Are you stressed about deadlines and commitments?
11. Do distractions often keep you from working on critical tasks?
12. Do you find you have to take work home, in order to get it done?
13. Do you prioritize your “To Do” list or Action Program?
14. Do you regularly confirm your priorities with your boss?
15. Before you take on a task, do you check that the results will be worth the time put in?

Scoring:
46-75You’re managing your time very effectively! Still, check the next post to see if there’s anything you can tweak to make this even better.
31-45: You’re doing OK but there’s room for improvement. Focus on key principle of time management and you’ll most likely find that work becomes much less stressful.
15-30: Ouch. You got work to do. The good news is that by improving your time management skills you can improve your effectiveness at work and your long term success! However, to realize this, you need to start now. Don’t procrastinate!

Smart Moves Tip:

As you answered the questions, you probably had some insight into areas where your time management could use a pick-me-up. The follow-up post, part 2, gives a quick summary of the main areas of time management that were explored in the quiz and resources you can use for each. Time management is an essential skill that helps you keep your work under control, at the same time that it helps you keep stress to a minimum. It’s working smarter!

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge  on the Voice America Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.

 

The Generational Divide: Is There One? BY MARCIA ZIDLE

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The Generational Divide: Is There One? BY MARCIA ZIDLE

generational divide

A recent encounter got me thinking about inter-generational interactions in the workplace.

As a volunteer usher at a performing arts organization, I was given the wrong sign in sheet by young millennial who was chatting away with another staff member.

Later, it was brought to my attention, by the same person, who said to me, “You signed the wrong sheet.” There was no apology or taking of responsibility.

My first reaction was annoyance thinking, “It was your mistake, not mine. Don’t you know I’ve been working much longer than you…you should show some respect….where’s your work ethic?”

Once I got out of my righteous indignation, I looked back and realized that maybe I need to take some responsibility for not paying more attention in the first place. Also in the past, when I’ve observed her in action as she dealt with patrons, she was professional. So that got me thinking!

Generational Differences
For the first time we now have four generations in the workplace (traditionalists – baby boomers -X ‘ers – millennials) which presents interesting challenges and opportunities to leaders, managers, and their teams. So much has been written about the differences in traits, expectations, styles, preferences. But I’m wondering if we should also be looking at what are the similarities.

The Center for Creative Leadership asked this question: 

Is it possible to work with and manage people from all generations effectively without pulling your hair out?

Absolutely! The following ten truths about generational conflict can help you look past the stereotypes and become a more effective leader to people of all ages.

  1. All generations have similar values. In fact, they all value family, the most. They also attach importance to integrity, achievement, love and competence
  2. Everyone wants respect – they just define it in the same way.
  3. Trust matters especially with the people you work directly with. Everyone wants to trust and want to be trusted.
  4. People of all generations want leaders who are credible and trustworthy. They also want them to listen well and be farsighted and encouraging.
  5. Office politics is an issue – no matter what your age. Most realize that political skills are a critical component in being able to move up and be effective.
  6. No one really likes change. Resistance to change has nothing to do with age; it is all about how much one has to gain or lose with the change.
  7. Loyalty depends on the context not on the generation. People stay or leave a company based on their boss, opportunities, stage of life and other factors.
  8. It’s as easy to retain a young person as it is to retain an older one. It depends on what’s important to them. Age defines a demographic not a person
  9. People of all generations want to make sure they have the skills and resources necessary to do their jobs well. The ability and desire to learn continues throughout life.
  10. Everyone wants to know how they’re doing. Feedback is desired but no one likes only negative feedback; they also want positive as well.

Smart Moves Tip:
Use these ten principles to help you work with and lead people of all ages. When generations fail to communicate and interact effectively in the workplace, we see a negative impact on the bottom line – performance, productivity and profitability start trending downward. So the next time begin to think negatively about a specific age group, stop and ask yourself: What do we have in common that I can tap into? How can I see them and the situation differently?

 

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge on the Voice America Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.


 

Are You Rewarding the Right People? by Marcia Zidle

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Are You Rewarding the Right People? by Marcia Zidle

business

As a manager or business owner, you know it’s important to recognize contributions individual team members make toward the success of the team. You might even find it easy to identify and reward individual performance toward specific individual goals.

However, many times in our efforts to recognize and reward successes, we may overlook “behind the scene” contributions which were necessary to achieve that success.

Consider this:
As Joe was watching Diane receive her achievement award from the team leader, he was feeling very uncomfortable. Diane’s objective was to decrease the amount of time required for processing between billing cycles. She had coordinated the efforts of many people and had exceeded the expectations of the team. Joe agreed that Diane deserved to be recognized for her outstanding leadership ability.

At the same time, however, Joe was aware that Diane’s objective could not have been met without his significant contribution to the work effort. He had spent the last three months pulling double duty, doing his work as well as covering Diane’s regular assignments. It would have been nice for someone to at least say “Thank You “for his additional effort.

Have you ever been where Joe is standing? 
How did it feel? No matter how strongly we identify with the team or how proud we are to be a member of the team, we still need to be recognized as an individual.

Individual recognition in a team environment also helps build a sense of involvement, ownership, and commitment. This encourages team members to help each other whenever possible. And this type of commitment will make your business more successful.

Take a look at your current procedures for rewards and recognition. Use the following questions to help you improve.

  • What types of achievements do you recognize and reward?
  • Are you aware of the many ways to recognize folks besides money?
  • What action have you taken to ensure all team or department members feel valued?

Smart Moves Tip:
Create a reward and recognition plan that is easy to use and spontaneous. Rewards don’t have to be expensive, but they should be timely. Make a big deal out of them. Demonstrate to your team members that each and every one of them is important to your business success.  Here are 50 ways to reward your people and not break the bank. Which ones would work best for you?

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge on the VoiceAmerica Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.

 

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