Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Are You Ultra-Productive or Ultra Self-Destructive?

Many of you may not know that we publish The Finance Professionals Post – a 45,000 circulation eNewsletter for young Wall Street professionals---in conjunction with the New York Society of Security Analysts and another of our clients, Naylor, LLC.

While we’re mostly focused on business development and sponsorship activities, we thought this week’s lead story, 11 Things Ultra-Productive People Do Differently, might be of interest.

Now, before you go out and try to emulate the 11 traits of hyper-productive people identified by Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-author of the bestseller Emotional Intelligence 2.0, keep a few things in mind.

If you’re really honest with yourself, even doing 5 of 6 of these things on a consistent basis is a significant achievement. And that’s on top of the fact that most of you are already among the most productive, highly motivated and driven people in our society.

So, here are some modifications to the 11 tips. Hopefully they’ll help you become more productive and prevent you from beating yourself up when you fall short for short of the already high bar you set for yourself.

1.They Never Touch Things Twice. Not bad advice, but we recommend the FAT approach. Don’t let piles accumulate (physically on your desk or electronically in your inbox). Take 1 of 3 actions: File It, Action on It, or Throw It Out! Again, you have only three choices.

2.They Get Ready for Tomorrow Before They Leave the Office. Great advice if you can really shut down an hour or so before you need to leave for a ballgame, social event client meeting of child/grandchild’s recital. For most of us, that’s not realistic. Here at HB, we try to come in half an hour early every day. First order of business--review your time logs from the previous day and invariably you’ll capture those pesky items on the to-do list that keep falling into the gray area between urgent and eventual. By now you know what to do with them.

3. They Eat Frogs. We agree with Bradberry that tackling the toughest things first thing in the morning is a great anti-dote to procrastination. But, we don’t believe in sprinting down the field and tackling your nemesis first thing, without being properly warmed up! That's a surefire way to get injured, if not killed. Same goes for your brain. We have a variety of mental warm-up exercises we can suggest and I’m sure you have your own favorites. Please share your favorites with us. Once warmed up, definitely go out and tackle your nemesis and eat those frogs!

4. They Fight the Tyranny of the Urgent. We agree with Bradberry that “productive people are willing to ignore or delegate the things that get in the way of their performance.” We’d like to see more concrete examples of how to do this. Here are a few things we recommend: Turn off you email, cell service and instant messaging. Route your phone calls to voice mail and try putting tasks into certain hours of the day in your calendar—and leave yourself plenty of cushion between tasks.

5. They Stick to the Schedule During Meetings. Volumes have been written about this. Just make sure you’ve allotted enough time for EVERYONE at the meeting to speak up. Too often, the quietest people in the room have the most valuable things to say. They won’t step up to the plate if the meeting organizer is a time-Nazi who didn’t consider others when setting up the meeting agenda.

Next week, we’ll weigh in on Tips 6-11 from Bradberry’s hyper-productivity list.
Our blog has more, as does the FREE Resources page of our website.


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