Business Development & Marketing General Rescue, Restructuring & Recovery Turnaround

Reclaim your brain. Learn to say "NO"

Something that makes successful people stand out is their ability to avoid distractions and learn to say “NO”.
It is not rude to avoid getting drawn into lengthy conversations at the start of the day when the first order of business is preparing the schedule and setting priorities as well has having some thinking time.
If a colleague or employee needs to speak to you about something significant it is perfectly acceptable to tell them that you will get back to them with a convenient time once you have checked your diary.
While courteous and amicable relations in the office are necessary, excessive time spent on social chat is not.
Similarly, feeling obliged to deal with all the new emails, texts or other notifications immediately is not helpful to success. There may be some communications that are urgent and should go on the high priority list for the day, but others can wait.  Again it is not rude to delay replies if the later response is courteous.
When a business is having problems it can be difficult to maintain the morning arrival rhythm that is characteristic of successful people, but even if there are urgent actions to be taken they cannot be done if the mind is overwhelmed with too much detail, not to mention the distractions from the outside world of social and news events that have occurred since the previous day.
Effective action whether it is dealing with a problem or putting in processes to move a business forward comes from learning to compartmentalise and to put aside distractions. You need to reclaim your brain and learn to say “NO”.

Business Development & Marketing General Rescue, Restructuring & Recovery Turnaround

Why do successful people practise time management?

Continuing our series on successful people this time we are looking at the importance of time management.
There are two important reasons for practising time management.
Not only is it important to create a structure to the day that makes it possible to define what needs to be done but also it enables tasks to be prioritised so that the most important are the first to be dealt with.
Time management, using lists and a diary, makes it possible to review the task list, to allocate time and in particular to reschedule the less important from the most urgent along the way.
A second important reason to practise time management is to build in the necessary free space for taking regular breaks from the desk and the phone and for research, personal development and creative thinking.
It is neither mentally nor physically healthy to remain sitting at a desk all day without taking regular breaks to at least stand up and walk around the office for a few minutes.
Pausing to think, visualise what success will look like and to then plot the steps needed to get there is one of the things that distinguishes successful people from those who are competent at their job.
Too many business managers feel obliged to multi-task especially earlier in the day when they feel freshest, but research conducted at Stanford University has found that multi-tasking is less productive than doing one thing at a time and fully concentrating on it.
The danger with multi-tasking and not managing time becomes more apparent when things start to go wrong in a business. Then the failure to prioritise and build in thinking time will show up as stress and an inability to make the right decisions necessary to deal with a crisis.

Business Development & Marketing General Turnaround

Successful people take time to set themselves up for the day

Over the next few blogs we will be looking at some of the things that successful people do that help them to stay ahead of the game.
The start of the day is important so taking time to pause, plan and reflect can make all the difference.  It is all about mental preparation and getting it right can make all the difference to the rest of the day.
Avoiding being plunged into the day and having others clamouring immediately for your time and attention before you are ready should be part of your preparation.
Take a few minutes to ensure physical comfort by ensuring the desk chair is correctly adjusted, and keyboard, mouse, telephone and any other equipment needed are all within easy reach.
Once that has been done it is time to prepare mentally.  That can mean reflecting on anything that has happened and deciding on whether a course of action is needed, thinking ahead and reminding oneself of one’s goals throughout the next week or month and identifying the steps to be taken.
This is part of “decluttering” the mind to allow room for the creative part to come to the surface. The second part of this process is to take a moment to pause and be in the present.
There are 5-minute mindfulness exercises that can help with this.  They can be done sitting in an upright chair with both feet on the ground. This is a very simple example: close the eyes and focus only on the breathing. On each out breath press the thumb of the right hand into the palm of the left, then on each in breath, release the pressure.
Carrying out this exercise or similar ones for five minutes at the start of the day has been shown to encourage creative thinking and to cut out the usual busy mind “noise” that can get in the way of a clear vision.