Here are some key points that would tell you if you are guilty:
- You list out your agenda items for the day, don't end up completing them and push some items to next day (huge backlog)
- You are busy putting out fires and make up some excuse for not calling a customer/sales lead/advisor/investor/your mom back. Guess what? You're not too busy to take a few moments to read this now right? So you have a few moments to call them back.
- You identify the problem and think GREAT! We're halfway there already. Well, GREAT, you're ONLY halfway there, so get on it!
- You offload all the tasks that you don't want to do to your employees. Hey, I'm not saying that's wrong, because if you're not good at something, I don't want you working in that job either. Try setting an example though, and try the task yourself - this small thing you do will win the respect of your employees.
- You don't put your foot down when you say you would. You have mistaken the part of being "nice" with your contractors and employees and are now getting pushed around by them. I have to admit it's an art to being firm with and respected by your employees and people you work with. Or you might be on the other end of the spectrum where people call you nasty names for being bonehead aggressive.
Here's my kick in the derriere for myself - I am too involved in the day-to-day of the business and not prioritizing correctly. Ever had that feeling that you worked 100% but only accomplished 50% of what you intended? Yup - that's what I feel right now.
I think there could be more structure to my day - it's great that everyday I'm challenged with a new problem and meeting new people, so what I mean is structuring my day so that there are specific time slots for each of these activities. It seriously does enhance productivity.
I'm starting to understand why people need gatekeepers. I run a small business and get tons of calls not only from customers, people seeking advice, people wanting to sell me stuff, that it's hard to take all of these calls personally. Apologies but this is the truth - I still give out my direct contact but chances of me picking up on the first try is slim because I'm either in a meeting, on another call or concentrating on doing what I should be doing - running the business.
Let's face it, there are things I love doing and things I hate doing (I am quite extreme like that). I tend to push things I hate doing, like endless hours of market research and reviewing 500 pages of our patent to the end of my day, and sometimes I push it to next day - GUILTY. I'm going to stop doing that. I'm going to stick to the schedule down to the minute and make sure I leave some time at the end of my day to put out fires - deal? Yes, deal.
This is my shortlist of things I do that is hindering my productivity right now and that I am promising myself to change. What are yours?