For the first 12 people to reach out to me via email, I will send you the Webinar (a live, online conference) login and dial-in information for a special presentation that we’ll schedule in the next week or two. (The presentation will last 20 minutes, starting at 9:05, ending at 9:25, with time for Q&A.)

This is a FREE webinar for the first 12 to reach my inbox. If I have more than 12 respond, I will schedule another webinar…I promise!

The content of this presentation is based on my book: Your Best Just Got Better: Think Bigger, Work Smarter, Make More. In one of the chapters in the section “Work Smarter,” I write about the significance of Tracking…being aware of what you do during the day, so you can do it more effectively/efficiently.

There are three things I would recommend you start tracking during your work day. Start by picking just one of these, for the next week. At the end of 5 days (yes, a Five Day Experiment!) you can identify any areas that need more (or less) attention.

If you can make the Webinar, I’ll talk for a bit about each one of these. If not, I’ll give some hints below.

1. Interruptions
2. Daily Goal/Focus Area
3. What went well?

 

1. Interruptions

I remember seeing a USA Today survey chart that showed just how many times Knowledge Workers are interrupted each day: over 100. I also have read that in a 24 hour period, we might have 20 or even 30 THOUSAND thoughts go through (in, over, out, on…) our mind. Just imagine trying to get things done if what you’re really doing is managing interruptions – from both the outside AND the inside! For the next five days, keep a running tally of the TOPICS that interrupt you. (Yes, the topics…not the people.)

At the end of a week, you’ll be able to see the top 5-10 areas/topics/things that interrupt you the most. When you have that information, you can begin to make subtle, but significant, changes. One client I worked with realized she was typing (or searching through her sent items to find a recent copy) the same couple of paragraphs to multiple people. Since she could, we made a new signature in her email system that she could use to respond when that specific query comes in. (Those of you who have taken my seminar, you’ve seen me do this if you request the information from www.OutlookDashboard.com)

 

2. Daily Goal/Focus Area

For this one to work, I’d suggest starting off with a blank piece of paper, a pen you like to write with, and 35-45 extra minutes during an evening or a weekend. On the top of the paper, write: “My MITs” (MITs stands for: Most Important Things) These are not to dos, they are not projects, they’re not goals. They ARE your Most Important Things, personally and professionally. Most of the people I get to work with have 10-30 of these that they come up with. What shows up on your list?

 

Now, at the beginning of each day, pause, look over the list, and pick 2 or 3 (I like that small number, I can usually win!) and write them down, add them to your online calendar, email them to yourself, somehow choose what the two are and put a reminder of them where you can see them later on. I like to choose 2…maybe three. So, for example today my two were: The Book and Health. I woke up early this morning to get to the gym, and have been working on the book for a good 4 hours today. I even built up this webinar – for tomorrow – so that I could spend a LITTLE MORE time tonight thinking about the chapter I’m writing. Does that make sense?

3. What went well?

Too many times, we end a day and look back only to remember more about what did not get done, than what did get accomplished. (The reason is this is called the Zeigarnik effect, something I talk about in seminars and coaching.) Here’s something to track over the next work-week: “What happened today that I’m proud of, excited by, or enthused about?” Chances are you’ll be able to come up with at least a few things over the period of 12-18 hours that you indeed DID do well.

 

Any questions? Just send me an email: jason at womackcompany dot com

 

Oh, and as far as tracking things for a more productive day, what did I miss? What do you typically track?