Are you going crazy because there’s too much to do and too little time to get it done? Time is our most precious commodity and we can’t afford to waste it. However, the work keeps coming over the desk, the phone keeps ringing, and “our people” continue to need us urgently.
The only way we can keep sane and reduce our stress is to find a better way to manage all the incoming stuff. It’s called organization and it’s all about prioritizing, sorting into buckets, and being disciplined about the system we establish. And in times of change, when the upset and chaos seem to grow exponentially, finding a system for organizing our work is even more critical.
The process is very like what we in change management consulting outline for our clients. You need to be sure of the goal and agree upon the benefits. You have to be flexible as obstacles arise. You have to stay focused and committed. And you need the support of stakeholders.
The first step in getting organized is to recognize how much harm your current level of dis-organization is causing you. Your stress is off the charts and this affects your relationships at home and at work as well as your health. You are not able to check anything off the “to do” list because you are constantly distracted and rarely finish what you started. You are not able to maintain even a modicum of efficiency because you lack focus and, with so many distractions, need to reorient yourself to each task as you begin it again. Convinced that change is needed?
Know that change is possible with planning, effort and commitment. And these are all under your control.
Think about what activities take up your time each day…from the ridiculous to the sublime. There are incoming and outgoing phone calls, scheduled meetings, unscheduled visits, email, keeping informed, etc.
a. Incoming phone calls should be screened for their importance. If from a client, pick it up. If from a chatty colleague, let them leave a message. For outgoing calls, set up a regular time when you can expect to reach your targets and go through the prioritized list, one after the other, focusing on the goal of each call. Do not try to multi-task by handling email at the same time; this will only reduce your effectiveness on the phone.
b. Scheduled appointments should immediately go on your calendar with enough lead time for you to arrive as agreed or prepare ahead for the discussion.
c. If you are a manager, you need to be available to your direct reports as questions and issues arise. But ask them to save all but the most urgent to a time each day that you establish when you can listen to and support them.
d. Email needs to be evaluated and sorted. Some are just informational and should be filed in the appropriate subject folder. Some need to be answered right away; others can wait. Use color coding to help you deal with them as needed. Use the same system for paperwork: to do today, to do this week, pending, and done. Review them daily but quickly to re-shuffle as needed.
e. Reading reports and doing research so you stay up to date needs time. Only you can decide what is really important to keep you sharp and current. Depending on your level in the company, you may also need to schedule “thinking” time when you consider the big picture…better strategies or ways to improve.
It is not easy, but if you spend just 15 minutes at the beginning of each day setting up your agenda, you will feel that your tasks are in place and prioritized by business importance. Resolve not to procrastinate. A full week is needed to begin the new habit of organization and to realize the benefits.
Trust yourself and stick with it. Imagine the feeling of knowing that everything is in its place and will be handled in order of importance. Think of the time you will salvage and the sense of calm as you go about your day. And those who work with you will appreciate knowing there is a planned space for them too.
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What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal. They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”
Vice President Human Resources
LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.
VP of Human Resources
LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.
Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources
We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.
Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.
Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.
SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO
We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.
LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.
Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region
PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.
Vice President of Human Resources
I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.
Human Resource Manager
LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.
Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology
On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.
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