As most of you know, Time management is not about managing time but developing our ability to prioritize when and how specific activities should be done to improve our efficiency and productivity. We know we have great time management skills when we can keep both work and life in balance.
A great technique which goal is to increase focus and reduce distractions is the Pomodoro Technique, developed in the late 1980s, by the Italian author of the Pomodoro Technique Book, Francesco Cirillo.
The technique is named “pomodoro” which means “tomato”, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer used by Cirillo.
So how does this technique work?
Remember that it is very useful to test techniques in order to understand them better, know when these are more effective to use and what results we can expect from them.
The more we try new techniques, the more insight we will also get about our own behavior patterns.
American educator, businessman and author Stephen Richards Covey, most known by his bestseller "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", categorized proactive people as those who has the ability to focus on what they have control over and what they can influence, while reactive people focus on what they can´t control adopting a victim approach.
Covey’s concept spheres of concern, control and influence were mentioned back in 1989 in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", where he states that focusing on what we can control, will have a positive effect expanding our sphere of influence, which also provide us the possibility to have an indirect impact of control.
Once we understand how to deal with what we can influence, can control and simply can´t, this fantastic approach gives us the power to canalize our energy, focus on significant efficiency and wellbeing reducing unnecessary stress.
The method is very simple to use by determining:
The sphere of concern which is all the things in our life that we might have limited or no control at all as for example the past or other people´s perspective.
The sphere of influence is all those things or situations that we might be able to impact as providing an inspiring speech or being a good role model.
The sphere of influence expands over time as for example by building and nurturing strong relationships for mutual cooperation and contribution.
The sphere of control is everything else we have the power to decide to do such as to change our point of view, or create new healthy routines.
As you can see the concept is straight forward and easy to use with a fantastic outcome: we become better focusing in where our power of influence and control lays, while accepting our current situation as it is and letting go what we can´t control.
Below three coaching questions to help you reflect on your current situation and start applying this effective method:
Find your strengths
Our strengths are powerfull skills that help us to reach our dreams and deal with life challenges. However, it is not always easy to know which these are.
Often, we know best our weaknesses because our natural ability to focus more in problems or the negative part of things, which is the logic tendency of our brain to keep us both alert and safe.
Did you know that behind our weaknesses, some of our strenths are hidden? This happens because often our weaknesses are the version of our strengths lacking balance, are excessively to the negative extreme or are overused.
Sometimes the unrealistic person, with a dose of balance, might be the visionary. Other times the impatient person, might be the one with the driven power.
By putting together a list with our weaknesses and then identify the strengths by balancing the weaknesses, we can easily find our strengths and discover more valuable skills about us.
Theodore Levitt once said "Anything in excess is a poison" and this is the case when our strengths are out of balance.
Therefore, it is recommended to perform this valuable assessment from time to time in order to find our strengths and be aware of what triggers them to become the weaknesses that need to be adress in time.
We all have a hidden super power that we all share but seldom use, a special talent that is waiting to be explored and fully embraced.
This super power have the strong ability to transform situations we might be seeing as devastating or hard to handle, into priceless ones. It reveals to us every day, everywhere, when we need it the most. It is called insight.
Insight supports us through the process of discovering new perspectives and angles daily and it is so powerful that it can open the doors of amazing opportunities for self development and most of all kindness to ourselves, removing feelings of failure or self-criticism. We start loving ourselves for who we are and for the insightful ways we manage challenges.
Below you will find three situations and how the insight super power can bring you valuable and relevant discoveries to your growth:
So, the next time you face situations that might challenge your inner critic, try your super power INSIGHT to see the good things life is giving you to become the best version of your uniqueness.
Obstacles are annoying and can distroy the flow we are in. The shock, the uncertainty and the stress obstacles bring to our state of mind, can paralize us.
To deal with obstacles requires that we make use of specific skills in order to take us away from being stuck and find new ways to keep moving forward.
Below you will find the five ones:
1. Stop, take a step back, observe your feelings and the relationship you have to this obstacle:
What would you recommend to do if someone else was in this situation?
2. Acknowledge and accept:
Your feelings and think about facts about the "situation"
The fact that obstacles may exist on the road and will become part of the process that will lead you to achieve your goal.
3. Take a decision by:
Choosing to be objective
Keeping the final goal in mind. Sometimes larger obstacles have smaller obstacles to overcome. Break them down and tackle them into smaller pieces
4. Be flexible and willing to consider different ways to reach your goal
5. Finally, remember to always find the lessons to learn and the wisdom behind every obstacles. This action will boost your personal development and your leadership skills in many ways.
The act of delegation is powerful
When we are willing to delegate, we forster an atmosphere of trust
When we start delegaiting, we send a clear signal: "We trust people to achieve the desired results while we respect their skills and commitment to do it"
In order to know when it is the right moment to delegate, ask yourself the following 5 questions:
Remember, the beauty of delegation lays in the fact that both you and the other person grow. You become sharper in decision making and leadership, at the same time you develop a strong culture of trust, while developing people around you with an extra dose of engagment and in close collaboration.
Feedback is a gift that contributes to our personal development. However, it is not always easy to handle it due to many reasons, such as to avoid rejection or criticism.
Below you will find a very simple and effective method to receive and handle feedback, while getting the most out of it for your own benefit and personal development:
This three step method will help you not only to improve the way you handle feedback, but you get the opportunity to learn more about yourself, while strengthening collaboration with the feedback provider.
Worrying already for tomorrow´s work to do?
Stop worrying and use the Ivy Lee Method!
How does it work?
1. Write in a piece of papper 6 things in order of importance that you need to do tomorrow .
2. Start the next day with the first task of your list and take the next tast once you finished the first one, and so on,
3. Repeat this rutin daily and you will see a lot of positive changes.
This method will help you to start your day in the most effective way because:
Remember, we create our future focusing on here and now.
Are you having a hard time finding solutions and brainstorming is not working?
Then you should try the reverse brainstorming technique!
Reverse brainstorming is based on our natural tendency to see problems easily rather than finding solutions.
How does it work? Just follow these 3 simple steps:
1. Start brainstorming all the ways you can make your plan go wrong
2. Write all these problems in a piece of paper
3. When you are ready, it´s time to start thinking of all the ways you could create the reversed effect.
This technique has two great advantages: it is easy to work with and increases effectively the amount of ideas that might lead to solutions faster
So next time brainstorming doesn´t work, go for the reveresed technique
Are you looking for more effectiveness & productivity?
Then Single-tasking is the best tool!
The 80/20 Rule, also called Pareto principle was named after the italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, which consist that 20 percent of the efforts produce 80 percent of the results.
Pareto found out that 80% of Italy was owned by 20% of the population and when he did similar studies to other countries, the principle applied as well.
The 80/20 rule can also be used to many areas of life. Here are some examples and how to work with this rule:
80% of the company´s profit comes from 20% of the customers
If I could find more customers as those that represents that specific 20% of customers, what do I need to do?
80% of my enjoyment is caused by 20% of the people I spend my time with
If I want more enjoyment as I have with this 20% of people how could I can spend more time with them?
Practicing the 80/20 rule is simple and very rewarding so finally, here are a couple of last questions to provide you a great start in this journey:
If you could choose one thing that gives you the most happiness what would that be?
If you could choose one task at work that gives you the most productivity what would that be?
According to several studies, multitasking causes people to take longer to perform simple tasks, increase anxiety and even have the same negative impact as losing a night's sleep.
On the other hand, research also found that to focus on a single task, called single-tasking, has a lot of benefits such as improve concentration, experience "flow", feel less stress, more creative, productive and happier.
Improve your focus, productivity and well-being with this simple tips on how to single-task:
1. Remove distractions and focus on a specific task
2. Allocate time (around 20 - 50 minutes)
3. Take a break
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