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Are You Working in a State of Readiness or Stress? You Need This One Skill to Execute with Agility and Make Powerful Progress

Hoca

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Do you feel prepared for most days? Are you ready for anything? Or do you feel like the day snuck up on you and surprised you—in a bad way?

Readiness is a valuable state to be in, especially in the midst of ever-shifting priorities and a steady occurrence of the unexpected.

Being prepared gives you a level of control and confidence in your day that will serve you well to…

…prioritize quickly, easily and accurately
…remain level-headed and calm
…consider tasks carefully and prioritize with precision
…make smart decisions about how to spend your time
…be responsive to calls, emails, and requests in a timely manner
…execute quickly and act with agility

You may read this and think, “I’m always ready and very responsive.” That’s great to hear, but make sure you’re not simply being REACTIVE and that it isn’t COSTING you somewhere else.

A state of readiness gives you the ability to turn on a dime WITHOUT missing, losing, or forgetting anything else.

Readiness is the state you always want to be in so you can use your time well and make steady progress, and the only way to truly reach this level is to have foundational systems in place that support you for managing tasks, time, email, and information.

Unfortunately, when you’re NOT working in a state of readiness, you’re not prepared to get things done. And when you’re not PREPARED to get things done, thing won’t get done.

Without a plan and a set of reliable processes for working on tasks, managing time, dealing with email, or managing information, progress will be slow. Or worse, tasks and projects can stall altogether. And in the absence of a proactive plan, reactivity will dominate, which can create a high level of stress.

Consider these actual statements made by professionals who wanted to be more prepared and more proactive:

“I’m waiting for my Inbox to tell me what to do next.”
“I don’t feel like I have a dashboard that summarizes where I am on everything.”
“I want to be a better planner, a better manager and feel more in control of my day.”
“I spend mornings waking up to the thoughts of what I need to do and what NOT to forget.”


These statements are indicative of working WITHOUT a plan and illustrate the challenges that are caused and the time that is wasted.

These statements also act as a crystal ball indicating trouble ahead, including the extra amount of time and energy it will take to try to stay on top of tasks, projects, information, and email.

With countless interruptions and distractions perforating your day, reactivity will take hold, which determines where your time will go. This is disastrous if you want to get things done and make meaningful progress more readily and steadily.

What is YOUR plan of action? What do you use to stay on top of things to do? How are you managing email and information? How are you driving progress? Can you change direction very quickly when priorities shift without missing, losing or forgetting anything?

To make sure you’re “ready for anything” and always on top of your work, there are two essential practices that must always be in motion for you to be most efficient and effective…

…CLARITY of tasks and CONTROL of time.

Both require an increase in awareness, which you need in order to prioritize tasks quickly and accurately, and determine how to spend your time.

  1. To gain clarity of tasks, a single, central, digital task management approach is required.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, tasks come from MORE than ten different sources in your workday. Email is just the most frustrating, but there are so many other sources, like phone calls, texts, social media, meetings, hallway conversations, papers and files on your desk as reminders of things to do, and so many more.

Something else to know is that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to try to plan, prioritize, and accomplish tasks by managing them ONLY from their sources without missing, losing or forgetting something—or a LOT of things.

That means you’re checking each of the sources to remember the most important task sitting at each source—in the email Inbox, on your phone, in your texts, on social media, on your legal pad—and then try to plan and prioritize in your head, and this is when your process starts to fall apart and tasks are easily be missed.

Instead, centralize tasks in a single, digital location you can work from on your computer and then reference it on your phone. If you work only from a task app on your phone, it will simply be just another “stand-alone” to-do list and it will be not inclusive of ALL of your tasks. Sadly, it will be no better than a list on a legal pad.

With an all-inclusive task management approach, you will have FULL awareness of tasks and responsibilities with the ability to plan most effectively, prioritize accurately, and execute proactively every day, giving you the ability to take consistent action and make phenomenal progress.

  1. To gain clarity of time, you need to understand where your time is going now and then proactively protect more time now so you’ll always have it.

Luckily, when you have clarity of tasks FIRST, it’s an extremely useful driver in determining HOW much time you need to get things done. With 100% awareness of what you need to do and when, it will raise your sense of urgency and make you more proactive.

Just settling for leftover scraps of time that you see as available on your calendar isn’t good enough. You have to PROTECT time now… today… in blocks of time every day… for all future workdays! Then you’ll have it when you need it and you can make sure and steady progress on the tasks that matter the most while still keeping up with email.
 
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