Tag-Archive for ◊ performance ◊

Author:
• Friday, February 17th, 2017

focusProcrastinating? 30 Minutes Can Change Your Day.

We all have more to do and yet ironically we seem to be spinning our wheels now more than ever. Have you noticed that people are procrastinating more and more despite ever-increasing workloads?

When we are overloaded, we actually tend to procrastinate more. This is called the Paradox of Choice: with too many decisions to make, we tend to do nothing, or at the very least, we do the easiest thing. The Easiest Thing is rarely the best decision. We all know it will just put us under pressure down the track, when that deadline is finally looming. But we keep doing those easy things anyway.

That is, until there’s some urgency.

 

Urgency forces us to switch into the performance zone. It makes us switch out of auto-pilot mode and switch on the part of the brain that controls our behaviours. It also gives us a little shot of adrenalin, which narrows our focus.

But usually people wait for something or someone else to make this happen:

Someone else gives us a deadline

Or I am all of a sudden so far behind my budget or project timeline that I need to switch on.

This is a hallmark of being overwhelmed in the 21st Century. I will do easy things until someone else forces me to do something more productive. We wait to that external impetus to really get us moving.

The minute we create our own urgency, we start being more productive. We take control of our own performances and we are not held to the whims of deadlines and controlling managers.

 

Here’s a tip:

Build Blocks Of Focus into your day

Plan 30min blocks where all you do is work on the things that are most important. No email, no distractions, no daydreaming about the things that aren’t getting done. Be deliberate and set specific tasks to complete during this time. And if you can control your environment by closing your door or finding a meeting room to work in – even better.

I know 30 minutes doesn’t seem like much, but it is sometimes all we need to get us going. That 30 minutes quickly turns into an hour, but the original 30min block is long enough to get us started and short enough to create some urgency.

Now this takes some practice, so don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time. We can actually train ourselves to work in these blocks of focus. Again, 30min may not seem like much, but you’ll find it amazing how much you get done in this small space of time, with better focus.

 

 

** Tony Wilson is a Workplace Performance Expert focussed on helping leaders build the environment for high performance. His insights into performance science and it’s application in the workplace will make you re-think the way that you approach leadership, culture change, high performance and productivity. Tony has an MBA and a BSc majoring in physiology and combines the two for a different perspective. He is also the author of Jack and the Team that Couldn’t See and delivers workshops and keynote presentations around the globe.

Author:
• Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

procrastinationThis year, stop procrastinating and start doing

What’s going to stop you from achieving those New Year’s Goals? If you’re like most people – the answer is procrastination. And it is never helpful. Research shows that procrastinators end up with higher stress, more illness and lower grades at university. In my workshops and keynote engagements, this is one of the topics that consistently pops up.

Why do we procrastinate?

People procrastinate for many reasons. The main ones are that a) a task is too difficult, so they make themselves feel good by doing things that give them an immediate reward, or b) the reward or consequence of not doing the task is too far away – there is actually not enough stress to get them motivated.

To sum it up very simply, when we procrastinate, we are doing it because we would rather have something right now, than wait for something in the future. We opt for a smaller, sooner reward, instead of doing something that will deliver a larger, later reward.

What does the smaller sooner reward look like?

Let’s say you should really get started on a project that’s due in four weeks’ time. But instead, you decide to check facebook and answer some emails that aren’t particularly urgent. What just happened?

Now, you could have a bigger reward later in the future. If you did some work on that project, then you may not get stressed out down the track when the deadline comes around. Or you will probably do a better job because you won’t be so rushed, and this might lead to a promotion or at least making your life a lot easier.

But you didn’t do that. You took the smaller, sooner reward.

You opted for something that you could get right now. You got some social connection (facebook) or maybe a sense of achievement (answered some emails…. tick!), or maybe you just got to do something easy, which made you feel comfortable. Either way you got a little reward right now.

And it’s not just you. A lot of people do this. We are actually hard-wired to believe that something we can get right now is more important than something we can get in the future. It’s evolutionary biology. Scientists call it Temporal Discounting

What to do about it:

But there are some simple ways to beat procrastination, and boost performance:

1)    Connect with your ‘future self’ more clearly

Simply try to imagine yourself in the future, having NOT worked on the project and being under enormous pressure because of the deadline. Imagine your boss getting angry at you, or those sleepless nights. Then maybe also imagine how good you’ll feel if you actually do a great job, with a bunch of time to spare.

2)    Manufacturing self-imposed deadlines

Set a timer for no more than 30 minutes. Ask yourself ‘what could I get done in the next 30 mins that will help me get closer to getting this project done. It doesn’t matter how small the task, but if you just get started, you might find that you continue to work on it once you build some momentum. The key is don’t get started on the simple task – get started on the harder task.

Try these things to beat procrastination in 2017. They’re simple but they are very effective at tricking our hard-wiring.

 

* Tony Wilson is a workplace performance expert focussed on helping leaders build the environment for high performance. His insights into performance science and it’s application in the workplace will make you re-think the way that you approach leadership and culture change. Tony has an MBA and a BSc majoring in physiology and combines the two for a different perspective. He is also the author of Jack and the Team that Couldn’t See, and is highly sought after for workshops, programs and keynotes around the Asia Pacific Region. www.teamcorp.com.au

 

Author:
• Thursday, November 24th, 2016

disappointed-1024x683

How are those 2016 goals working out for you? I’ve got some news for you, but most people don’t want to hear it.

There are only three reasons that you fail to make progress towards your goals. Yes – it’s that simple. But people are going to deny it.

The first two reasons are the most important – and the ones that people don’t want to face. The third reason is really just a caveat. So let’s scrap the third reason.

There are only two reasons you fail to progress towards your goals.
In. Anything.

Either:
a) You’re not doing the work, or
b) You’re doing the wrong work

That’s it. Nothing else is stopping you. Whether you want to get a promotion, make more sales, qualify for your bonus or lose ten kilos. If it’s not happening for you, it’s because of one of those things.

So here’s what you need to do. And I KNOW this sounds really simple, but I am really frustrated with a bunch of people I’ve been working with, so I’m going to spell it out.

First – find out what the ‘right work’ is. Because if you want to make more sales, but you’re only making three sales calls a week, then getting buried in admin – it’s probably not going to happen. Or if you want a brilliant team, but you aren’t doing one-on-ones with your staff at least once a month – it’s probably not going to happen.

So, find out what the BEST people in your world are doing. Whether that’s sales, or losing weight, or leadership, or whatever. And then do it even better than them.

Secondly. Commit and work relentlessly on making it happen. You can’t make those 10 sales calls every other week – it has to be every week. Don’t make excuses why you can’t get out the door and exercise, because you’re too busy – just make it happen. Don’t cancel those one-on-ones with your staff because you have too many emails to answer. Prioritise it and Get. It. Done.

And don’t lie to yourself and other people that you’re doing it, when you’re actually NOT.

What’s the third reason? The third reason is that your goals are out of your control. But this rant assumes that you set controllable, smart goals anyway. So forget it.

Author:
• Monday, July 27th, 2015

friday-loves

Think you can slow down on Friday and take it easy? Think again.

Being unproductive on Friday might be impacting your weekend more than you think.

Rumination…. the scourge of performance

Rumination can be a killjoy. Rumination is when we constantly think about things that are going on in our lives. Those things that have happened during the day that left us frustrated, or the things that are coming up that are making us anxious.

It affects our stress levels, because we can’t stop thinking about the source of our distress, and it impairs our quality (and sometimes quantity) of sleep.

In fact, it often does both at the same time. Ever lay awake at night annoyed about that argument you had with your manager, or obsess and worry about the presentation you have to give to a client the following day? Chances are you found it hard to drift off to sleep, and your night was frustratingly restless.

The Trouble with Fridays…

Recent research shows that people who have unfinished tasks on Friday afternoon tend to ruminate more on the weekend, and have impaired sleep. It seems that those unfinished tasks tend to play on our mind, even subconsciously, causing us to re-think the week that’s been, the week ahead, and prevent us from getting the sleep we need.

So don’t take Friday lightly. Here are three tips to turbo-charge your Friday

Turbo-Charge Your Friday:

1) Narrow your focus 

Write a list of the things you need to accomplish. Prioritise it so that the absolute most urgent and important tasks are at the top. Now rule a line under the top three things . There are your non-negotiables. Say to yourself “if these are the only things that get done today, it will be a successful day”

2) Make the morning count 

People make one big mistake:they do low priority, easy things first. Not only are they easing into their weekend…. they’re easing into Friday as well! The trouble is, so many interruptions and distractions pop up during the day that those things we leave until ‘later’ get trumped by something else.

Do yourself a favour and do the most important things first.

3) Park things for Monday 

Lets face it: not everything on that list is getting done despite your best intentions.

To ease the burden of unfinished business, spend the final 10 minutes of your work day allocating a time on Monday for those unfinished things to get done. When you ‘park’ your taks for a definite time in the future, our bodies and brains seem willing to forget them and accept that they’re taken care of.

Don’t ease into the weekend. Instead, finish the week with a bang

 

Author:
• Friday, February 06th, 2015

Distractions

28% of our day is taken up by interruptions.

We get 108 emails a day on average.

Once we are distracted by an email, it take 24 minutes to get back on track.

Check out the infographic below

Download - Daily Distractions – infographic, Teamcorp

 

 

Author:
• Thursday, April 17th, 2014

top3

1) Create Real Collaboration

Real collaboration requires that no one is afraid to say what they think, or engage in heated debate to sell their opinion. Too many teams are bound my un-speakable topics, fear of stupid questions, or domination of strong personalities over the introverts. Take steps to make sure that everyone is comfortable speaking up and defending their stance.

2) Set the Rules of Behaviour

Above all else, the one thing that stops managers holding people accountable to behaviours is that they don’t make those behaviours clear. By setting the team’s rules of behaviour, we make expectations clear and set boundaries around what is acceptable. To do this effectively, see number (1) above.

3) Be Consistent

The key to any change is consistency. If you want people to focus on goals and execute the high impact behaviours, you need to talk about them, review them and measure the ALL THE TIME. This is the only way that people see that these things are important.