Like squirrels before winter arrives, we need to ensure that we are efficient with our everyday work to preserve our energies, as the colder months are approaching fast.
In this post, we talk about managing your everyday work and life, with big and small rules.
Set certain rules for yourself, so you feel free, calmer and more relaxed, and thus effective.
Manage your everyday by following some simple rules.
Rules usually mean restrictions. They limit our opportunities and demarcate our possibilities. Yet, rules also open up a lot of things for us. When we follow simple rules, we can resist temptations and reach higher and long-term objectives. Rules can help us to take better decisions, especially when our information and time is limited. Rules can give us daily freedom – if we create the right simple ones for ourselves.
So, as executives, senior managers or staff members of large or small organisations, we can manage our everyday lives better and perform better in our daily routines when we follow some set rules: some bigger “all-time rules” and some smaller “everyday rules”.
Big all-time rules
#1 Selection rule
Have a few basic criteria how you make a decision on some of your daily tasks and activities. Do not waste your time deciding on the little, not-so-important issues in your daily work and life. Decide swiftly based on pre-set criteria and focus on more important issues. For example, know a few restaurants that you like, and pick one quickly for your lunch appointments. Don’t waste time, searching new ones.
#2 Limitation rule
Have a clear rule limiting what you do or accept to do. It is sometimes easier to define what you do not want or not accept to do, than the opposite. Be clear. Once a week, say No to a task that you must do.
#3 Stop rule
Know when you have to stop doing something. Be conscious of your time and level of details. Set a time limit and stop yourself. Don’t sweat the details but stop yourself. For example when searching for a product or service you need, googling for information, writing and editing a report you have been working on, etc.
#4 Satisficing rule
Follow the notion of “satisficing.” It is a combination of the terms satisfying + suffice = satisficing. Ask yourself: what is equally satisfying your goals and at the same time sufficient to achieve your higher objective? It is like the feeling of having eaten enough: when are you full and well-fed? Of course, many of us can always eat a bit more. But when we are satisfied and it is sufficient, that’s when to stop.
#5 Process rule
Have rules defining how you want to behave, work or act in specific situations. For some of your important areas of work or repeated actions, identify rules for yourself and follow them. For example, if you often chair meetings, come up with guidelines how you run a successful meeting, e.g. have a clear agenda, follow strict time limits, be sure to specify the objective of the meeting so to gain 50% of efficiency and productivity – there can be only four goals for every meeting, big or small. (Ask us if you’re interested! 🙂
Small everyday rules
#6 When you have a task to complete with a strict deadline, just start earlier than usual. The earlier you start the easier it will be. Especially for the tasks that cause you anxiety.
#7 Start every day with the task that is your first priority. You own work has to remain priority #1. Do not fall into the trap of following your colleagues’ wishes. Thus, you don’t necessarily have to reply immediately to those emails that read *URGENT!!!* Reflect if it is urgent for You first.
#8 When you are given a new task, first calculate the time you need, then decide depending on the time you have. As a simple rule: any free time (hours or days) available, reduce it by half; and the required time the task will take you, double it.
#9 When asking for a favour, use the word “because…” and give a logical explanation. Giving a reason increases the probability for the other person to be convinced. Just try; it works!
#10 As simple as it sounds: smile! 🙂 Physiologically speaking, the more you smile during the day, the more you reduce your stress. It reduces high blood pressure and frees your bodily endorphins.
#11 Meetings are a big cause for stress for some managers. Once in a while, just skip a meeting. Choose a meeting once a week that you just not attend. Choose wisely.
#12 Eat healthy food and sleep well. Take care of your body, everyday. Eat nutritious meals and take time to reenergize your body. Remember: as your smartphone needs to be charged daily – so does your body.
#12+1 Book some quality time alone, and some “Me-time”, thus “+1”. Ideally, a minimum of 15 minutes a day should be with just your Self. While some people like to go for a run, to meditate or to have a quiet herbal tea in the early morning hours, others like to read, walk or take a bike ride after work.
In our private and professional lives, we often have a dilemma: to decide between simple or complicated solutions. For some of our most important everyday tasks, some simple rules are more effective than other complex alternatives.
Those of us who can follow some smart yet simple rules will be better at managing their everyday lives in the complexities of our current times.
As a feedback from many of our readers, please find attached a PDF document, with the rules described here; in addition, you will find below a worksheet, for You to download to monitor your progress. Have fun managing your everyday work and life!