If only I had a few more hours in the day.
How many times have you said that to yourself? Don’t be shy. Raise your hand.
In this fast-paced life that we live, we are bombarded daily by responsibilities, deadlines, obligations and conflicting priorities and there are days when we feel we just can’t get our heads over water. Truth is, all the paper planners or digital reminders in the world won’t keep you on track if you don’t develop the skills necessary to manage your day. If you aren’t sure which skills you need to develop, answer the following questions with either Always, Often, Rarely or Never:
- Do you feel you don’t have time to add any new projects to your schedule?
- Do you have trouble locating the things you need in a timely manner?
- Do you hesitate to throw something away just in case you may need it later?
- Do you have problems saying “no” when asked to take on a new project or volunteer?
- Do interruptions keep you derailed for ten minutes or more after the interruption is over?
- Do you find yourself playing catch up after neglecting a task or project?
- Do you struggle with the urge to immediately respond to emails and instant messages or getting people off the phone?
If you answered Always or Often to questions:
1 and 7 – You struggle with scheduling. Over-scheduling is just as bad as procrastination. When you are super-scheduled you can become paralyzed when you are faced with a change in plan or routine or even new projects.
2 and 3 – You have organizational challenges. Whether you are drowning in piles of paper or electronic files for everything, it’s time to figure out what to toss and what to keep.
4, 5 and 7 – You have too many interruptions. I’m guessing that you have trouble saying “no” (Which by the way is a full sentence) to family, co-workers, your phone, emails and all types of instant messages and you often find yourself falling behind on your tasks. Here’s a hint, saying “no” will not keep you from advancing at work or make you a bad mom, wife, daughter, friend or sister.
Here are some strategies to deal with the everyday things that rob you of your time:
- Meetings – Have an agenda and stick to it. Start and finish on time. Have a stand up meeting.
- Phone calls – Schedule them. Know the objective of the call before you dial the number. Let the caller know how much time you have.
- “No” vs “Yes” – Request time to make a decision. Avoid making excuses.
- Interruptions – Tell people when you are available and when you are not. Look at a clock. Say you have to get back to work.
- Paperwork and Email – Throw away what you do not need. Handle emails and paper mail once.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to check my schedule to see what’s next.
Source: Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc.
Have you ever been asked a question that stumped you and you were unable to give an answer? Not a question that is technical in nature. I’m talking about the type of question that forces you to dig deep and do some introspective searching to find the truth. The questions that when you finally realize the answer you are either pissed off or excited.
Here are some questions to help you think about the lessons you have learned during 2016 and what you need to do to make 2017 better:
- If you were given an extra hour a day, what would you do with it?
- What would you do if you had unlimited resources?
- What are you trying to prove to yourself?
- What would you try if you knew you could not fail?
- Is what you are doing helping you follow your joy?
- If your money could talk, what would it say to you?
- What is the experience you are looking to create?
- What small steps can you take to get you closer to your vision?
- What story do you most often hear yourself telling?
Schedule some quiet time with yourself to answer the questions and be honest with yourself. You might be surprised by some of the answers. My hope is that your responses spark action and gives you a head start for the coming year.
Laverne & Shirley. Thelma and Louise. Lucy and Ethel. Oprah and Gayle.
Famous best friends who are literally are a tiny gang of two. There is something about having a good girlfriend. Somebody who has your back like a well-made European bra. Somebody holds you together when you are ready to lose it like a fresh new pair of Spanx . There’s something to be said about that one good girlfriend you can call and no matter what you say…she won’t gasp and clutch her pearls. She will wipe your tears and tell you when you’re wrong. Do you have one of those girlfriends? I know I ask that question a lot on this blog but the truth is, I wouldn’t keep asking if I didn’t keep meeting women who are trying to get through this thing called life without at least one good girlfriend. It saddens me when I meet a woman who doesn’t have a support system. Every woman needs someone who will sit there and listen to their dreams and tell them “No, it’s not crazy. As a matter fact, did you think about also doing….”
So do you have that good girlfriend? If you don’t, find one. If you aren’t sure, take a look at your existing relationships and nurture them. Make sure that you have somebody who you can turn to in your time of need and despair but also celebrate with in your time of joy and happiness.
Registration is open for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference! Special pricing available until December 31, 2016. Register at: www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com
One of my favorite retailers is Nordstrom. Why? Their customer service is legendary. Just this past summer I visited the store in Delaware was helped by Sandy in the Encore section. When I told her that she looked familiar and that she might have helped me before, she asked me what I purchased. Now I will be completely honest with you, I thought this was just flatout bs. Seriously, how the heck would she remember what I purchased two years ago. Well Sandy proved me wrong. After I told her one item of my purchase, not only did she remember what else I purchased, she remembered my preferred silhouette and fabric. I was completely floored. Sandy knew me. Out of the thousands of women she must have assisted at the location, she remembered me. Mind you, this was after I was assisted by Conrad in the men’s department who asked for my brother’s color palette for his wardrobe because it would help him select some choices for a watch. And this was before Diane, who had the eye of an eagle and the patience of Job, assisted me with some much needed shape wear. That my friends is unforgettable customer service.
Does your friendship to others have the same level of service? When your friends think about the pivotal moments in their life, were you front and center or did you have to hear about it after the fact? Can you recall conversations that you’ve had with them a couple months ago? Do you know what makes them tick? Do you know what excites them? Do you know how motivate them when they are ready to throw their hands up in defeat? Do you know how to make them laugh when they would rather cry? Being that type of friend requires a level of customer service that many of us are not willing to give and then you wonder why you don’t have any meaningful connections. Stop wondering why you don’t have a shoulder to cry on. Stop wondering why no one wants to listen to your latest rant of who did you wrong this week. Start figuring out how to be a better friend and up your level of customer service.
There are levels to friendship. Are you offering basic or premium? Here’s a hint, premium friendship leads to the right people being on your personal board of directors.