The 4 P’s To Get Back On Track
In today’s frenetic work environment, people are faced with a faster and more demanding pace than ever before.
Our workplaces have shifted and the results can be overwhelming at times:
- Less people doing more
- Resources are stretched and work such as HR tasks gets pushed downward to employees
- People having multiple points of contact due to flatter organizations
- Communication from email, texts, and other sources happen quicker and far more frequently
- Perception of instant responses and demands trump real urgent, important tasks
- Disruptions and distractions occur constantly throughout the day
How can one cope with the rush of expectations and conflicting demands? Try the “4P” method below:
Pause. This most important step allows you to stop and break away for a moment. Your brain can be like bread dough that’s over-kneaded – it needs time to rest and set. Take a few moments to stop all activity, grab a walk of fresh air, and let your mind wander and rest. Think of it as breathing for your mind.
Ponder. Simply put, think of what you’re facing. Look at the tasks on your plate, the priorities, and demands. Reason with yourself and discover what “urgencies” are really not, where your time is best spent, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Remind yourself of your overall purposes – both professional and personal – and gain back your perspective that was derailed.
Plan. This doesn’t have to be anything formal, although you can make formal plans during this process. Take those moments to find simple ways to gather yourself and your team back on track and to tackle the re-assessed priorities. One effective manager I know would hold a production line up to figure out how to get back on track. Those 1-2 minutes of downtime and lost productivity at a peak time were more than made up for with a quick re-tooling and re-aligning of the team’s focuses. Plan to succeed through this step.
Proceed. Moving forward again with a combination of renewed purpose and communication, with both yourself and your people. While it is necessary to quickly break away, you’ll need to quickly enact your plan and make it happen. But with a corrected purpose – and sense of peace – you will have the confidence of control over the day and be able to accomplish that purpose with vigor and effectiveness.
Pause – Ponder – Plan – Proceed. 4 effective and simple quick steps to make any day a successful one.
(railroad image: morguefile; graphic: canva)