Posts Tagged ‘Tasks’

Addicted to Accomplishment

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Dave Weber - CEO/President

Dave Weber shares some personal insight into his addiction to accomplishment and taking time to enjoy life.

This video is also available on WeberTV if you are unable to view YouTube Videos.

Addiction Trailer

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Dave Weber - CEO/President

My addiction is finally coming to light. Check back next week for the rest of the story!

This video is also available on WeberTV if you are unable to view YouTube videos.

ASAP

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Dave Weber - CEO/President

As soon as you saw the title of this post, you knew what I meant. An efficient abbreviation borrowed from the U.S. military, ASAP is now generally understood across disciplines and industries. When your boss sends you an email that reads, “I need to hear back from you ASAP,” you drop everything else and attend to the request.

We are a culture that loves to get things done, well, ASAP. Between emails, direct deposits, texts and a myriad of other technologies, we’ve essentially abolished the need to wait for anything. Except at the DMV.

Usually, this works out great for us and for our coworkers and customers. But that’s only when the answer or solution is apparent at first glance. The problem with living in an ASAP culture is that not all of our challenges can be solved with a half-hour meeting and a few three sentence emails.

We work and live in a world where many situations are complex and intricate—whether that’s negotiating contracts and company mergers or trying to come up with a new way to keep the interest of a room full of fifth graders. And, as I’m sure you’ve experienced, sometimes the first solution that strikes you is not always the best solution. ASAP decisions run the risk of completely missing out on a factor or a detail that might further complicate our entire project.

As I thought about this problem I came across an article about Harvard professor of humanities Jennifer L. Roberts. In an art history class Roberts asked each of her students to choose one painting to be the subject of their term paper. Part of completing the assignment was to visit the painting (in person, if possible) and study it for three hours.

As you can imagine, her students were not exactly thrilled at the idea of staring at a single work of art for the better part of an afternoon. And, as someone who is easily distracted by shiny things, I am positive that I would have failed Professor Roberts’ art history class.

However, for the brave souls that did attempt the assignment, something interesting happened. The students reported that as they studied the paintings, they began to notice details that, while they didn’t seem important at first, were actually critical to understanding and appreciating the work. For many of them, this dramatically changed the focus and direction of their term papers. Roberts explained it this way, “…there are details and orders and relationships that take time to perceive.”

Although Roberts is referring to art, I believe the same principle is true in our professional environments. There are details and orders and relationships that take time to perceive. Think about starting a new job. For at least the first two weeks you are overwhelmed with learning how to do your assignments within the context of a new company. You’re learning your way around a new office. You’re figuring out a computer program or network that you’ve never used before. And on top of all that, you’re trying to navigate the interpersonal relationships of your new coworkers. It may take you weeks before you figure out how to use the copy machine!

I believe that when it comes to finding solutions or making big decisions, we don’t need to rush. What if we looked at these situations like one of the art students? You may not have three hours to think about a problem, but I bet you could find ten or fifteen minutes to jot down some ideas. And you may be surprised at the details and relationships that slowly come to light as you put the brakes on for a few minutes.

Do You Like What You Do?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Dave Weber - CEO/President

Such a simple question, but the ramifications of your answer have a lot to do with your enjoyment of life. Whether you are the CEO of a company or the CEO of a home, you spend most of your time “doing” it. So, do you enjoy it?

Well according to the Gallup organization only 20% of people can answer that simple question with a resounding “Yes!”

Here is what is so interesting…built into the DNA of each and every one of us is the need to do something—and in a perfect world, to enjoy doing it. It is great to have something to look forward to every day. Not only that, but what we do often contributes directly to our identity.

When people are first getting to know each other, what is one of the first questions asked: “So, what do you do?” If your answer to that question is something you find fulfilling and meaningful, you feel so much better about yourself than if your answer leaves you flat and uninspired.

Believe it or not, enjoying what you do has a major impact on many of the other areas of your life: relationships, physical health, and financial security for example.

Think about it this way, if you have wonderful relationships, stable financial security, and good physical health—but you don’t like what you do every day…chances are pretty good that much of your social time is spent complaining about your lousy job (not very fun as it pulls everyone else around you down).  You also spend a great deal of your time away from work worrying about having to go back to it (which ruins your time away from it). And all that worry, dread, and anxiety about work can have a negative impact on your health.

Many have fallen into the trap that work is just a necessary evil and it is certainly not something to be enjoyed. But that’s not true. One of the essentials to having fun at work and enjoying what you do is getting the opportunity to use your strengths every day.  According to the Gallup organization people who have the opportunity to use their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life.

What do you enjoy about your job? What are you good at? Figure out how to do more of it. Get creative. Swap tasks with some of your colleagues. Talk to your boss about it. Enjoying what you do is a “win” for everyone.

I Can’t See My Desk

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Dave Weber - CEO/President

For over two decades I have traveled across the country because organizations have hired me to help their employees get organized.  I have trained well over 100,000 people in a seminar called “I’m Spread So Thin You Can See Through Me”.

As I ask participants to create a list of objectives they would like to cover, invariably, there is one that continually shows up…desk management.  Now, they might not call it that, but it shows up in a number of other ways like:

“My desk is a disaster area.”

“I have piles all over my office.”

“We are supposed to be going paperless, but I can’t tell.”

“I have no idea if my desk is wood or metal, because I can’t see it!”

“Colleagues put stuff in my chair because the top of my desk is too scary.”

You get the idea.

After inventorying the tops of hundreds of desks, I discovered that most of the stuff piled on our desks is up there for two reasons:

One, it’s up there to remind you to do something.

Two, you don’t know where else to put it in the meantime.

I call all this paper “homeless paper”…it just lives in the environment in your office and occasionally gets displaced to another area of your office to survive.

Here is a great, simple idea to help you gain control of the top of your desk:

  1. Build a “Homeless Shelter”. Some people call it a miscellaneous A-Z file.  There will be 26 folders or files labeled A, B, C, etc.
  2. Then make a decision on every piece of paper following what I call the 4 D’s of Paper Management (Drop It, Do It, Delegate It, Date It)

Here’s how it works. Grab a piece of paper and run it through the following decision-making grid, making sure you go in order:

Option 1: Drop It – Where might be an appropriate place to “drop” some of the paper on your desk? Trash can?, recycling bin?, a permanent file? Wait, it doesn’t have a home…you just built a homeless shelter for exactly this kind of document. What is the piece of paper called? File it alphabetically in you’re a-z files by that name. Now if the piece of paper requires action (not just Drop It somewhere, go to option 2).

Option 2: Do It – If the piece of paper can be handled in 3 minutes or less…do it… and get it off your desk. If it will take longer than 3 minutes go to option 3.

Option 3: Delegate It – If you can delegate whatever that piece of paper represents…delegate it. (Maybe you are the delegatee and not the delegator so this is not an option for you—then you move to option 4).

Option 4: Date It – If you cannot Drop It, Do It, or Delegate It, the piece of paper in your hand represents something that you need to do. So you Date It. Decide when you are going to do it and put on your calendar or to-do list. But here is the secret when you list this activity on your calendar or to-do list, also record where you filed the piece of paper so when you are reminded to do the task you will also be directed to where the information is filed.