Management Monday: The Not To Do List
Whether it’s smoking or eating too many biscuits, breaking bad habits is hard work – and this is even more true in our professional lives. However, there is a simple solution: a ‘not to do’ list, which reminds us to avoid all the unproductive things in our working day. Many productivity experts swear by them, so here are some suggestions for creating yours:
1. … agree to meetings without a clear purpose. Some business people ask for a ‘catch up’ meeting, and only afterwards do we realise they just wanted a chat and a coffee. If someone invites you to a meeting without an agenda, ask what they hope to discuss so that you can prepare in advance. It’s hard to object to that!
2. … spend too much time with low-paying patients. It’s often the case that those customers who pay the least are the most demanding, but don’t allow them to take over. Be polite but firm.
3. … let emails take over your life. If you are constantly checking your inbox, you aren’t fully focusing on the task at hand. Set aside certain times every day to deal with emails and be strict about it. Remember, if someone is emailing you, they have no idea if you are around to read their message – and if it’s urgent, they will most likely call instead.
4. … allow work life to creep into home life. Remember you are in control of your business, not the other way around, so don’t give up your evenings and weekends to it. Nobody expects you to be available 24/7.
5. … see working more as a solution to having too much on. If you have a to-do list as long as your arm, it’s tempting to keep ploughing through it, hoping you will eventually reach the end. You won’t. Instead, take a step back and think strategically: why is your workload unmanageable? What can you do to reduce it?
Try it today: look at the aspects of your working life which are turning into bad habits, and make a not-to-do list now.
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