I was recently facilitating a Work-Out session with a very dynamic company. We were focusing on building change from the bottom up, engaging staff by asking them what their solutions were to problems. But we had a problem. Staff were coming up with great action points but were then finding it difficult to work on their ideas once they went back to their desks. We were stalling because the old excuse ‘I’m too busy’ was being used for not getting tasks completed.
Given reduced staff numbers and increased workloads, isn’t it a reasonable excuse to say ‘I’m too busy!’? Well no, it isn’t. The issue is about prioritisation rather than busyness. So today when I saw that the Harvard Business Review had an article on getting things done in a busy environment, I thought I’d take a look.
They had nine things that successful people do differently in their article, but I’ll share only one with you as I know you’re too busy to read a long article!
Seize the moment to act on your goals!
We’re tempted to wait for that lovely block of time when we can finally get around to doing the important things. According to the writer, Heidi Grant Holvorson, the trick is to grab the chance to do it now, rather than wait for that ‘perfect time’. She maintains that we routinely miss opportunities to get things done because we fail to notice them.
So the next time you find yourself saying, ‘Oh I can’t return that call now, I’m too busy’, stop yourself. Wedge in that important task that will make a real difference to your effectiveness.
Your tip to improve your effectiveness by 300%
So here’s the simple way to build sure-fired success into your next plan. Seize the moment by deciding when and where you will take each specific action you want to take. So instead of saying ‘I must blah blah blah’ be as specific as possible. On Tuesday at 9.00 I will talk to Mary about re-0rganising the stock intakes. Studies show that this kind of planning sets the compass in your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by as much as 300%!