Go Go Go. More More More — and yet…it never seems to be enough. Never enough effort, never enough time.
I was just in Toronto presenting at a Conference, the theme aptly titled, Conquer the Chaos. As Deborah Conners, the President of Health, Work & Wellness Conference states, “distracted, unfocused and unproductive employees will not provide the creativity, innovation and loyalty organizations will need to get ahead and stay there.”
She mentions how we are more trapped by our ‘electronic leashes’ that technology has given to us initially as a godsend, but has quickly become a nightmare. You know who you are (or someone is), who is connected to their email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The same people who sit on the bench at their children’s Saturday sports games, doing business on their Blackberry.
According to an Office Deport Organization Study, Nov 2006:
- 53% live in ‘controlled chaos’
- 76% report losing time to disorder
- 51% concerned about missing important deadlines or appointments
- 16% cite fear of diminishing their reputation
- 14% lose business opportunities due to disorganization
- 61% claim the biggest frustration with their disorganized environment is that they can’t find what they need quickly
- 27% find it hard to concentrate with messy files around
Many of you are nodding your head, commiserating with these facts. Yet, only 22% actually spend the time to arrange their desks for maximum productivity every day. Only 49% of you organize on a monthly basis, if not less. More interesting, is that 67% are not sure how to start or maintain their efforts.
The top three things that you can do for yourself to start the shift back to work-life balance is to:
- Take back your time by starting 15 minutes per day
- Ask for assistance. You can not do it all – nor should you. Consider leveraging your routine administrative tasks to a virtual assistant (or student volunteer).
- Do not make yourself available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is up to you to educate your clients and colleagues and set your precedent. Turn off your cell phone & email after hours. If you respect your time, others will as well.