We all experience having an enormous amount of obligations, responsibilities & tasks on a daily basis with little time to accomplish them all. Do you ever feel like you are an octopus with skates on, constantly moving but not going anywhere? If that is the case, use pressure to your advantage. Think about it, I bet at some point in your business or career you had a deadline or an unexpected project that needed to be completed yesterday and somehow with all your other obligations you pulled it off! It was completed and you wondered, how did I do it? Have you ever realized that a project can be completed in the time allowed? For example, it is a given that you typically have 12 months to prepare for your taxes and you just have not found time to accumulate, print, file receipts, track mileage or document business expenses in an orderly fashion for your accountant in 12 months; now it is 3 days before “the big tax day” & miraculously you have prepared & sent all documents required to your accountant in just two days to meet the three day deadline. Remember this is a task that had been on your “to-do” list for 12 months!
Because when we are pressured to complete a task, project, or meet a deadline, we become focused, avoid interruptions, use our time wisely, have a clear vision on what needs to be accomplished and prioritize tasks. We kick up our success performance about 10 notches!
Don’t feel overwhelmed or stressed out when pressured, welcome the opportunity to operate from your highest performance level and adopt those traits to your daily routine.
Among the life of numerous tasks, projects, to-do list, family responsibilities & other obligations, take a step out of overwhelm by simply setting priorities. You will never be able to do everything at once, so quit trying! You must decide which task, project or responsibility needs your immediate attention or has the soonest deadline and that is the task that gets worked on first, put the others in a tickler file according to priority. But what if there are projects that share the same deadlines?
Get started with the most difficult ones first. For example: a business owner needs to prepare for an upcoming federal contract audit, a speaking engagement and an advisory board meeting: all scheduled for the same day.
Which is priority? The audit will require the gathering of specific information from the past year, a financial fiscal report with supporting documents and the audit will determine if the business owner will receive additional funding. The speaking engagement speech will be 20 min. in length and can be recycled from a previous speaking engagement or article, just a little rehearsal is needed. The advisory board meeting will require an agenda, previous meeting minutes, and a meeting place to hold a meeting of 10 members.
The audit is the most difficult and will require a little more time than the others, so the business owner should start with the audit and give it the most blocked time during the day, the other projects can be worked on throughout the day as well, but priority is the audit.
Prioritizing brings clarity, gives direction and streamlines your process for completing tasks and projects. When you are juggling multiple tasks, prioritize them from most to least difficult and get the difficult out of the way. Establish a hierarchy for completing tasks and take action.
Be fully present in the moment. Yes, this sounds so simplistic but in an era where multi-tasking is queen, we must remember to capture complete genuine focus, we must give undivided attention to a task. Maximize your performance by avoiding external distractions (TV, telephone, email,) as well as internal distractions (sabotaging thoughts, thinking about the past, and wondering about the future) concentrate only on the task at hand. After you have worked on a particular task, put it aside and remember that you gave it your full attention, don’t fret over it anymore. When you are ready to continue to work on the task, concentrate on it only and you will began to see success. Be present with your clients/customers, don’t worry if they will purchase your product or services, be present with their needs and know that you have produced the best product or service that will meet their needs. Be present in all your endeavors.
Now you know the three P’s of successful performance:
Pressure, Prioritize, Present – incorporate them into your daily routines and your performance level will soar.
© 2007 Bridgette Boudreaux