“You can do anything, but not everything.”
― David Allen
We all have days when we scold ourselves for not getting enough done. We mutter to ourselves about not having enough hours in the day…and wonder how other people seem to handle everything.
Just how do successful people stay productive and in control of their lives?
It pretty much comes down to one basic concept we all struggle with at times in our lives: self-control.
Get self under control – and other things naturally fall into place.
The Hallmark of Top Performers
In Entrepreneur, Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and President at TalentSmart, writes that after testing over a million people, a study showed top performers are folks who score high in emotional intelligence – and the hallmark of emotional intelligence is self-control.
But self-control is hard to keep in tow. Self tends to make excuses pretty easily, like no problem with that second piece of chocolate cake. And that employee who came in late the third time in a week, well, it can wait until next week to address.
And as Bradberry so aptly states, “When your self-control leaves something to be desired, so does your productivity.”
So if self-control is so important, how can we strengthen ourselves?
After reviewing data from his study, Bradberry came up with a list to help boost productivity. When your self-control slips – forgive yourself and move on. Rehashing your failure only brings on negativity. Learn from it.
And here’s one we can all relate to: Don’t say ‘yes’ unless you really want to. According to Bradberry, saying no is a huge issue for many people. Saying no is also an important act of self-control, an act that means you respect yourself.
Among other strategies Bradberry offers: staying positive and focusing on solutions. And simple things like eating, sleeping and exercise are on his list, too, along with meditation. All these suggestions go a long way in helping you to be in control…and thereby productive.
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, offers simple tips to help boost your productivity. Always have something to write with, Allen suggests. “Your head is not designed for holding ideas.”
This is so true. For instance, if you’re about to meet with a high-level leader, I always recommend that you get clear on your intention by putting what you want to say on paper beforehand.
And, “Pay attention to what has your attention,” says Allen – since that’s a sign of an issue is gnawing at you – and you need to address it.
No matter what strategy you use, it’s important to remember one thing: there is no single “best” time management tool that will help every person to stay productive. According to time management expert Dr. Sarah Reiff-Hekking, it’s more about a process of discovering, experimenting and learning your unique way.
Don’t Allow Toxic People to Drain You
Toxic people are tough – often impossible to understand and difficult to deal with. If you’re dealing with toxic people frequently, taking steps to deal with them is important for your own sense of balance, positivity and productivity.
Again, Bradberry comes to the rescue with tips to deal with toxic people. He simply explains: “Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke?” Distance yourself from toxic people. Set boundaries. Keep focusing on solutions, not problems.
We can deal with toxic people…and learn from them:
Be thankful for all the rude, obnoxious, and difficult people you meet in life. They serve as important reminders of how NOT to be.
Staying positive and productive can be a minute-by-minute effort – I know! As a business leader, how have you dealt with keeping yourself focused and getting things done?
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Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Colleen Slaughter, Proud Executive Coach to the UN World Food Program, the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
As an Executive Coach for Women in Leadership and Transformational Facilitator, my intention is to help leaders in positions of high influence to understand their worth at a profound level.
Supporting women leaders to truly thrive and step into their greatness, while succeeding in male-dominated industries and spaces is my native genius.
My technique and approach show you how to achieve incredible career success without compromising any part of who you are and what makes you magnificent.