I've heard it so many times over the years. People ask me, "I've been thinking about switching to a new system for a while, what do you think about ______?"
Fill in the blank with some time management methodology, software, or cool gadget.
I'm flattered people ask me, but the real key is in the testing for yourself. I'm happy to share my system and the tools I'm using, but it changes as my needs and technology changes.
Determining your own productivity needs is often an overlooked factor in workplace performance, and one of the easiest ways to enhance your own workflow.
Give yourself a five-day test period, and see for yourself.
- What piece of gear do you think would make your life easier?
- Who else is using it the way your system is set up? Ask Google! For example, type in "how to sync blackberry and Outlook" and see what opinions, forums, whitepapers, and links exist.
- Buy the piece of gear you think you could use, and try it out for a week. Only time (and practice) will tell if it's right for you.
Often, people repeat what used to work. In years past, it may have served you to rewrite a to-do list or save papers in a "to-file" pile. However, if your workspace or inbox is too cluttered, it may negatively impact how you maintain focus throughout the day.
- What new habits would you like to implement, ASAP?
- What do you do during the day to manage your energy and focus?
- Do you know anyone whose habits you'd like to emulate? Who's doing it well? (This goes for exercise, drinking water, getting enough sleep, and all those other healthy habits you’ve been thinking about.)
Working one-on-one as a coach to executives, I have heard MANY stories of what people have tried. Some programs, methodologies, and technologies stay around, while other people move from idea to idea, from program to program.
One of the most significant learning experiences I ever had is: Ideas, methods, tools, technology, and programs will change; the fundamentals will be around for a long, long time. I need to master the fundamentals.
- What seminars would you like to attend?
- What books do you want to read?
- What person would you like to meet?
- What skills will help you with this new you?
- What coaching programs would you like to try?
One of the fundamentals to workplace performance is:
Stop thinking and start doing.
Take that idea that has been on your mind, identify a next step, and test it out to see how it can work for you. If you try it and you like it, you get to stop wondering if it can work. If you try it and you don’t, you get to start using valuable thinking, planning, and development time for the next idea.
Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA, and Jodi Womack, MA, founded their personal development education company, which enhances organizational performance through customized training and coaching. For more workplace performance tips, visit www.JasonWomack.com.