News From LBD

March 2012 Volume 4 Issue 3


    Everything seems to be going faster, leaving everyone feeling overworked, overloaded, and overwhelmed. Here's how to survive.


1. Know Your Purpose.
    Know your vision, your goals, and your plans because these help you set priorities. Each day, identify the tasks you must accomplish and prioritize them. Also, set aside time to invest in your future. If you have yet to write out your life priorities, then take time to do this. It could be the most important hour that you spend in your life.

2. Say No. 

    Be fiercely protective of your time. Make sure each new commitment adds value for you. Do what is necessary and then stop. Avoid low value tasks, new projects, and distractions. Then tell people about your decisions. Huge amounts of effort are wasted by people trying to complete tasks that someone else decided to ignore. 


3. Schedule Life.

     Even if you ride an accelerating treadmill, you can step off once in a while. Leave work at 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Take Saturday or Sunday off. Give yourself a two minute break to close your eyes, rub your neck, or meditate. Set a date with family members for a meal or an activity. You may want to put this date on your calendar as if it were an important business appointment because it is. 

4. Protect Yourself.

     When you're tired, your efficiency falters. Thus, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, avoid toxic habits, and exercise (use the stairs, do crunches or push ups in your office, take a five minute yoga break). If possible, schedule exercise as if it were a business appointment.

5. Be Efficient.

     Spend time only with people who add value to your life. Buy only from companies that provide adequate support. Hold effective meetings. Decline invitations to meetings without an agenda as I guarantee these will accomplish nothing. Avoid conflicts; they always cost time to repair. Keep your cool; anger always costs you more than what it achieves. Take a moment to plan before starting a task.

What Leaders are Reading

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff by Richard Carlson, PhD.
    Got a stress case in your life? Of course you do: "Without question, many of us have mastered the neurotic art of spending much of our lives worrying about a variety of things all at once." Carlson's cheerful book aims to make us stop and smell -- if not roses -- whatever is sitting in front of our noses. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... offers 100 meditations designed to make you appreciate being alive, keep your emotions (especially anger and dissatisfaction) in proper perspective, and cherish other people as the unique miracles they are.

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker  

    This book identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned.  

*Managing Time

*Choosing what to contribute to the organization

*Knowing where and when to mobilize strength for best effort

*Setting the right priorities

*Knitting all of them together with effective decsion making


    Ranging widely through the annals of business and government, Drucker demonstrates the distinctive skill of the executive and offers fresh insights into old and seemingly obvious business situations.


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Leadership Tip of The Month  



Is your To Do list getting you down? Try these few tips to breathe some life into a mundane task:


1. Leave off the Small Stuff:
Define "small stuff" however you'd like. If it's a task you can accomplish in just a few minutes from the workspace you've chosen to write your To Do list, what's the value in writing it down? Just do it while you're thinking about it. "Send an email to confirm tomorrow's meeting" can easily be accomplished right from where you are. Leaving it off your list can make room for a meatier task.


2. Organize By Location: Think about where you're going to be throughout the day and assign tasks by that space. Planning the time you'll be spending in your "Starbuck's Office" can help you to capitalize on potentially wasted minutes and sometimes hours. Group the tasks you know you can achieve while in a potentially noisy location. Return emails to prospects, do Internet research, catch up on hand-written notes sent after networking events, etc. And don't forget about audio books. They can be an excellent way to invest in your personal/business development while you're sitting in traffic.

3. A Check Mark Might Not Be Enough:
Add a column to your list. Allow yourself an additional pat on the back by including an "Already Done" column. It's a great place to note those unexpected tasks that come up during the day that may take you off your original list. Feeling the accomplishment of those little surprises can make you feel more productive than you might seem when you look at your original list. Only accomplished one of your To Do's today? No worries! No guilt! Stop and bask in what you DID accomplish.


For additional information contact LBD.
John Branstad
John Branstad

Quote of the Month

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."

Mahatma Gandhi

John Branstad