Determine Your Priorities

Can you always work on what you want to work on? Right when you want to work on it? No sometimes a pressing deadline means putting aside a more pleasurable task to do something more formidable – even if you don’t feel like doing it immediately.  On the wall of my office near my desk, I have posted a list that I update every week. It’s called “Rules of the Office, and it reminders me of what I have to do it be successful in my business

Rule #1 is First things first.

This means that you must set priorities and meet deadlines. For instance, if I’m burning to work on a book but have a report due the next morning, I write the report first, get it done and fax or email it to the client. Then I reward myself with an afternoon spent on the book. If I indulged myself and worked on the book first, id risk not leaving myself enough time to get my report written by the deadline. Another rule of the office worth quoting here is

Rule #2. Make sure it’s a Working meeting.

This rule reminds me to avoid meetings unless there is a set working agenda. A recent survey shows that the average business professional attends more than 60 meetings a month, and that employees now spend more than one-third of their time in meetings. But half of these meetings are unnecessary or inefficient. Before agreeing to attend a meeting, find out what topic(s) will be discussed and see if a solution can be reached without a formal meeting. Half of the problems usually can.change

Meetings can be one of the biggest time-robbers. In his book Team Up for Success (AMI Publishing), Charles Caldwell gives the following tips for managing meeting time:

  • Decide in advance when meetings will start and stop. Let participants know this information before the meeting begins.
  • Start and stop on schedule. Start on time even if everyone isn’t there. Schedule time blocks for each item to be discussed.  Make sure meeting participants know how much time is allotted for each item.
  • Keep track of time. Comments such as, “We have only 30 minutes left,” help keep people on track.

Here’s a Tip: Want to make meetings shorter? Take the chairs out of the room! Meetings in which all participants stand are a third shorter than sit-down conferences — yet the decisions made in them are just as sound





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