A Seminar Designed With You In Mind

Thank you for attending the MWP seminar, presented here in Zurich, Switzerland. It is indeed an honor to present this workshop, and the fact that so many of you were so interested in the topic is incredible. I hope you were able to implement a few ideas right away after the workshop. Of course, if you’d like some hints and tips on specific ideas to reflect on, please continue reading along here. And, as you have questions or comments, please do simply send me an email and I’ll add information to this page just for you. (And, please do consider sharing this page with a colleague.)

If you’d like to read an in-depth review of one of our seminars (also, consider sharing this page with colleagues), visit the Training Magazine Web site here.

Where To Begin?

Over the course of the day, we discussed three distinct areas of study to enhance your professional and personal productivity. Psychology (how you think and plan), Sociology (how you communicate that thinking and planning) and Technology (how you track and manage your thinking, planning and progress over time). What one activity stands out to you the most? There are several to choose from.

Nouns and Verbs

Early in the morning, I introduced two very different approaches we use to get things done during the day. Over the years, I’ve watched as hundreds of people make to-do lists, manage their email inboxes, and delegate actions to people around them. In all of those discussions, I see and hear the importance of addressing both the “topic” and the “action.” As you go back to work each day, reflect on both the nouns and the verbs of your own workflow management. Here’s one thing to do:

Write your email subject lines last.

Whenever I am drafting a new email, I always skip the subject line and go straight to the body of the email. I focus on the message, the topics and the summary/action items that I am sending. After I write all of that, then I go to the subject line, asking myself, “What is it I am asking that person to do?” Then, when possible and if appropriate, I’ll put the action word IN the subject line. Currently, the statistics that I have seen are that 20% or more of people are ONLY reviewing the bulk of their email on a smart phone device. With small screen size, it’s important that we make it easy for people to know what to do, understand what we’re asking of them, and respond to us quickly when necessary.

Here is the slide deck I presented from during the day, continue reading (click below) for more links to videos and more ideas on implementation of the workshop activities.

A Multimedia Approach to Learning

There are distinct ways of learning (and working) that we all rely on during the day. When I trained to work in education (teaching high school World History and Spanish language), I studied learning styles (link here for more information) to better understand the approaches to information that I could take to increase students’ engagement and understanding. To this day, whether I’m presenting to a group of your peers in Zurich, Switzerland, working one-on-one with a Managing Director, or advising a top executive of an organization, I rely on an understanding of these different styles. So, during the day you experienced a wide variety of learning materials:

The Workbook: Designed to assist you both during and after the seminar, the workbook provides you with pages you can review on all three of the topics we discussed. For example:

Page 3: The paragraphs there give you an overview of the day-long course; in addition to reading that page, you chose the three words that most closely related to your goal for attending the course. I encourage you to, at the end of each day for the next 5 days, to go back to that page and review the words you chose. As you look at each word, ask yourself, “How did I do today?”

For example, if you chose “Priorities” as an important word, make a list or at least mentally review, what priorities you worked on that day. At the end of 5 days (I call this a tracking exercise) you’ll have some objective information, and perhaps come up with some ideas of what to change over the next week to be even more productive.

Stories and Lectures: In sharing my own personal examples, and then asking you to turn to your colleague and share your stories, my goal was to let you know the range of ideas that exist. Whether is about effective collaboration strategies or efficient technology organization, I hope you have a few things to test this week.

Pictures: When you go through the slide deck above, look at the pictures and think about each one. What do you remember from the seminar when you see them?

Videos: Starting with the video with Roger Federer speaking, (click here), and going through the TED.com and PopTECH.org video clips, I like to bring the best speakers I can find on the topics related to this course. I hope you’ll make time to review some of these:

Tom Wujec
Seth Godin
Ric Elias

And, my favorite, Ken Robinson
 

Knowing You’re Growing

We love to read about life. We talk about what happened, who’s doing what, and where people are going. One look at the newsstand in a bookstore or airport and the headlines of what people did compete for your attention!

For the next five weeks, follow your own story. Make a point to acknowledge what you did, how things are going, and where you plan to focus your attention next. As they say, it’s not only reaching the destination, but the journey you can learn from, as well. Journaling the journey is one way to look at your best efforts, and make them even better.

There are three time zones I journal the journey in. I write something every day. Pausing toward the end of the day long enough to think, I write about 100 words in a small journal I keep on the nightstand. Each day, I write about the past, the present, and/or the future.

Click here for the article in Training Magazine

 

Here are 3 videos (hosted on your local Intranet) you can watch to gain even more ideas about effective workflow management:
In the Meantime
Knowing You At Your Best
Limited Resources