As high-performers, we enjoy getting things done and relish the act of crossing items off our to-do list. But it’s easy to get stuck in the feeling of productivity, without actually doing anything productive. Over at US News and World Report today, I reveal the seven productivity traps you need to avoid. Read it here.
When I procrastinate a lot, it’s usually a sure-fire sign that my priorities have shifted, and my to-do list hasn’t caught up yet. Alas, the task still needs to get done! Over at US News and World Report recently, I shared my ten fail-safe strategies to avoid procrastination. Read it here, then share what works for you to stop procrastination in the comments.
Gen-Y does a heck of a lot. This is the first post in a new series called, “Follow the Leader,” where you get the chance to peek into the professional and personal lives of fellow young leaders to learn how they get it all done. If you would like to be the next young leader profiled, email me.
When I wrote my first post, it was Tiffany Monhollon (left) who contributed the first comment. Which made me giddy for days upon days and gave her instant status as my first bona fide blogging buddy. It only made sense to feature the talented writer of Little Red Suit as the first young leader to be profiled for the Follow the Leader series.
Check out the week of Tiffany Monhollon,
Writer and PR Professional, 25 years old:
How to generate ideas
“I listen for themes in my life and let them speak into my work and my writing. I carry a notebook with me at all times and keep track of story, article, blog and graduate project ideas over dinner, while I’m sitting in traffic and when I’m shopping. I have anywhere from 15-30 ideas in progress pretty much all the time. I’m very curious about everything, so that helps.”
Balancing priorities is inherently lopsided
“My priorities often set me, to be honest. In theory, I should set priorities based on what I want to get the most out of in life – relationships, personal interests, family, and then spend my time focusing mostly on those things, right? But truthfully and frustratingly, I find that whatever is taking up my time finds its way to the top of my priorities in practice.
A lot of workers are faced with this reality. That’s why we talk about work/life balance so much. Our work dictates our priorities because it takes the most of our time. I try rather than to ‘set’ priorities, to just take an honest assessment of my time, and adjust that when it gets too lopsided. Otherwise, I would drive myself crazy and feel guilty all the time.
When I spend four hours instead of two on my blog, and ignore the important people in my life, I have to be honest with myself that I’m being really stupid. I have to look at where my priorities are right now by seeing where my time is invested, and then make decisions with my time to shift my priorities to what I want them to be ideally by spending time on them.
People who say family is their biggest priority and spend 70 hours a week working aren’t being honest with themselves.”
Time-management is a myth
“Though I talk about it a lot, time management is really a myth. It doesn’t exist, because you can’t control time. It passes, at regular intervals, despite us. Oh, how I wish this weren’t true! But it is, so we have to learn to manage ourselves in time. It’s really all about self-management.
I can’t tell you how many times in life I’ve heard or said some version of: ‘I don’t have enough time.’ But really, the truth is, you can plan on having the same 24 hours each day that everyone has, plan for your plans to be interrupted, and figure out how to manage yourself in that time that remains. That’s really the way it seems to work in real life, all theory aside.”
What does Tiffany look forward to the most? “Spending time with my wonderful, supportive boyfriend any time I get to see him.”
What do you think?
Do you relate to Tiffany? Do your priorities set you? Are you constantly on? Do you like the Follow the Leader series idea? What are your ideas to improve it?
Follow the footprints, yo.
I recently asked Dan Schawbel, personal branding guru, how he gets everything done: “I don’t know how I do it at this point, but I’m passionate about what I do so I make it happen. Is that a fair answer?”
Not only is that a fair answer, but it’s the best time-management advice. Ever.
Dan, just 23 years old, has launched his Personal Branding magazine today. I strongly recommend you head on over to his website to download the PDF for $12.95. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. I’ve downloaded my copy which is chock-full of valuable information from an interview with Donald Trump, to a slew of guest articles that tell you how to reach your full branding potential.