Ship Shape or Ship Wreck

3 Ways to Set Sail for a More Wonderful Work Week

Dad-Baby Troubled by too little time? Mourning a few missed opportunities? Stuck behind bars in e-mail jail?

It’s true that disorganization and the challenges of keeping up can get you down. You can lose quite a bit of motivation when frustration takes over after being bombarded by boatloads of information and communication.

That’s why it’s essential to do what you love. That’s what you really want first before you even worry about anything else in your job, career or business. (See last week’s blog on your happiness and productivity.)

So for those of you who indeed love what you do, but still find your work weeks a little lacking in potential productivity, then I’ve got some tips to share with you. If you bounce out of bed every morning eager to get to your first task or next project, but then get instantly side-tracked or you spin in circles throughout your day, then here are 3 ways to make your work week more wonderful – and more productive:

    1. Dock your boatload of cargoWhen you walk around with a head full of reminders you don’t want to forget, you’re not unlike a ship drifting endlessly out at sea with no map and no clear direction.

      Professionals must have a reliable way to track and manage everything they need to do and not just what they need to do, but when. And keeping it all in your head is not going to help you reach your priorities, much less prioritize.

      Once you bring in your Good Ship Forget-Me-Not and dock it, you can start unloading all that cargo you’ve been carrying around. Do a brain drain and get all of those to-dos, reminders, and projects you still want to do… someday… out of your head.

      The best way to do this is to start an electronic Task List in Outlook. Continue building this list with every next step you need to do on anything and you’ll never have to write a long to-do list or keep it all in your head ever again.


    2. Look aft and look foreI regularly see professionals challenged with following up from past meetings and lacking preparation for upcoming appointments. One of the best steps you can take is using the week view on your calendar so you can see yesterday, tomorrow and future days very clearly.

      This is so important because you have to be able to review where you’ve been to capture follow ups you’re responsible for and see where you’re going so you can prepare.

      The day view is not efficient because it puts blinders on you, plus you waste valuable time clicking on past or future days to get around your calendar. Get the work week on one screen and get more information all at once.


    3. Clear the decksNeed I say “Get organized?” That’s so typical, right? 😉 But here’s the thing… current research clearly shows the cost of disorganization to both professionals and businesses and the results bear watching. I’ll let the findings do the talking for me…

      A “Cost of Disorganization” survey conducted by GfK Roper Custom Research North America for Brother International found the following among 777 full- and part-time U.S. professionals in April 2010:

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