Productivity Guaranteed (What I learnt from C-Suite Execs over 15 years as a leadership expert)
I have had the tremendous gift of 15 years’ experience working with Corporate Executives in my Life Design seminars, Leadership Development frameworks and roll-outs, Public Speaking, Women Leaders Speak Out research, writing and one-to-one coaching. I have to be honest and say that one of the most valuable parts of that journey was that I learnt just as much as I taught.
One of the most interesting learnings was listening to C-Suite Execs about how they manage their time and productivity. Alongside this I invested heavily in my own growth and the end result was the production of a unique system that ultimately would work for me as a single parent/business woman and then applied in my seminars and coaching for others.
I want to share some simple truths and a proven method that will guarantee to revolutionise your life. It has worked for 10,000 others and so I know it will work for you too. The choice is yours to make to design a future of your own choosing or make a non-choice if you dont mind where you end up.
It has all been said and there is nothing left to say because you know it all. Yes we all want to live in the moment and enjoy the days as they come BUT there will be a consequence for every choice you make (and making no choice is also a choice). Picture yourself and your family in 10/20 years’ time and delay gratification today for a future of YOUR DESIGN or be happy with any result that happens to come along. Both are OK. There is no right or wrong.
Email is the enemy
Create a zero email in-box. I have coached senior execs who get 2000 emails a day and one of them said she simply deletes the entire in-box because if it is important they will call. This is an extreme strategy but the reality is nobody can deal with 2000 emails a day! Some effective people I know have an assistant dealing with their emails. However, don’t underestimate the power of your personal touch. Here’s a strategy that works and doesn’t offend anybody.
- Touch emails one time only wherever possible (means deal with them once rather than re-reading)
- Respond immediately where possible
- Allocate an hour a day to the above admin
- For everything that needs more work/thought; file in two places 1. Awaiting reply 2. Action later
- Allocate set times for working on the filed items. Depending on your work load this can be once a day or review once a week
- Trust me. You need not have any fear. You will remember the important emails that you have filed but your refreshingly empty in-box will create serenity and peace
Be your word
The modern disease caused by social media is lack of accountability. You can set yourself apart and save yourself so much time through eliminating the pattern of having people chase you if you just stick to your word and are clear with your communication. If you say you are going to do something …DO IT. Your reputation is everything. You will also save time and reduce stress.
Brilliance is a product of environment
You will increase your productivity and success by 100 times if you simply learn from the best. That means find the person who has done the thing you want to do and develop a relationship with that person/people so that they WANT to help you. This will depend on you developing yourself to the point where you can create an A Team Peer Group. Work harder on yourself that you do on your job. Ultimately the relationships you can develop are more important than anything else. This will save you decades of trial and error.
Discipline means to cut off all other options
Apply a system. Once you have created the right environment, as described above, you can implement a system that ONLY WORKS. If you are going to procrastinate and waste your time or gossip and criticise others (the biggest waste of time) or fail to deal with your admin efficiently (BIG energy drain) and your character is such that you fail to BE YOUR WORD (another form of procrastination) then don’t watch the video below because you have more work to do on yourself first.
The crystallisation of the system you are about watch has been refined over 15 years. I first used the system to create two corporate brands where we designed and delivered leadership training to Blue Chips like Barclays, Lloyds, B & Q, HP. I used the system to become an International Professional Speaker and trusted to coach CEOs and COOs of Public Companies. I did all of this from a standing start in 2000 as a newly divorced single Mum who hadn’t worked for 12 years. My aim here isn’t to impress you but to inspire you to know that you can do anything you want if you apply the wisdom that I am sharing. What is that you want to do with your one and only precious life?
5 years ago somebody on my seminar asked me this question ‘what is your goal for 5 years’ time?’ I looked at my goal map and realised that I had hit all my goals. I had enjoyed a public profile and had spoken on 3 continents, I had created a high profile brand and a reputation in the City for doing great work. That question in 2008 was a pattern interrupt. I needed a new goal – not just for the sake of it but to stretch myself, to scare myself and test myself. This meets my value for learning because that’s how I feel alive. What makes you feel truly alive?
My answer at that seminar was ‘in 5 years’ time I want to have recreated my business so that I can run it from anywhere in the world because my youngest daughter will go to University Summer of 2013 and I would love to use that special time to travel some more.’
I tried many things that failed and then finally in May 2013 I launched a business that could be, and is being, run from anywhere in the world. My daughter went to University 4 months later.
Don’t underestimate the power of your goals and your intentions and the date that you set for the accomplishment of your dreams. This isn’t pop psychology. It is science: If you are thinking about what you don’t want, you will get that. If you think about big goals, you will get them. If you think about small goals, you will get them. Commit to your life design, apply some discipline in your life to follow through and make it happen. It won’t be easy. I have had some immense challenges in the creation of my Tech business. However in my darkest moments I knew only one thing …to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking as I had been taught to do in my fire walks (great metaphor for life if you get the opportunity. DO IT)
I created this video as a training guide for users of www.mybestyearever.org but you can apply the system without the help of a personal productivity organiser software if you prefer.
My desire for you is a life that you truly love. What that means cant be prescribed is unique to you and so don’t be influenced by the views and opinions of others.
Live with passion!