A Better Way To Be Productive

If you have ever gotten to the end of a week or even a day without accomplishing everything on your “to-do” list, then welcome to the club.

For many leaders, having tasks uncompleted can create a sense of failure in how productive we have been. Other tasks creep in each day throughout the week, claim a sense of immediacy or urgency and then take priority of our time. As a result, we feel like we’ve fallen short of our goals, and overwhelmed as well.

Years ago I started to change my productivity methods and came up with a more productive system. I would write what I wanted to accomplish, then make time on my calendar for the week for those items.

It was a great unlock for me and enabled me to feel more in control of my time and goals.

Over the weekend I discovered this article from The Next Web that supported the method I had adopted a while back, which prompted me to share this in more detail.

Each weekend I write down a few goals or tasks in each area of my life. I do this to spread myself around and touch each area of my life (spiritual, social, career, health, etc) and create more balance overall.

I only set a few tasks in each area as I know I can only accomplish so much. Doing this will give you the ability to see that you accomplished most if not all of your tasks and a greater feeling of satisfaction and control over your life and work.

Then I schedule those tasks to the days I want to spend time on them. Based on my workflow, I have set aside days to focus more on certain areas. For example, Thursdays typically tend to be time connecting with others, while Mondays are geared more towards extra work, Wednesdays financial planning, and so on.

For tasks like exercise and learning, I set consistent time daily to make those happen and guard against “time robbers” that will interrupt those and push them aside rather easily.

Once a schedule like this is complete, you will acquire a sense of planing and purpose far beyond the typical to-do list method.

And while legitimate urgencies will occur from time to time, this method will help keep you on track should a plan go awry. Which will happen occasionally.

One thing to keep in mind is being overly regimented and not allowing some flexibility in this process. Some items may take longer for various reasons. It’s also perfectly acceptable to block out portions of a day for catching up on emails, resting, or even to allow for creative thinking.

The main goal in this method is to help accomplish more and give yourself better control over the events that impact your days and weeks.

If you have struggled with feelings of being unproductive and having a lack of control on your days and weeks, try this method out. It is proving to be a better method over the to-do list.

(Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay)

#ThursdayThought – Coddling Others Hurts Your Organization

A pastor that fails to hear a spouse’s claim of abuse because they can’t look past the relative good that the person always does.

A boss favoring the sales team because that’s where they think is the most important position.

Keeping a certain client on board because they represent a lot of revenue, although they bully the front line employees.

Allowing an employee’s toxic behavior because they have been loyal to the company for so many years,

When leaders coddle others, they don’t realize the harm they do to the rest of the team.

A ministry ceases to be effective and marriages fail because of coddling a favored parishioner.

Other team members of supporting divisions feel like second class citizens, a cog to the whims of the big dollar makers.

Sending a message that all that matters is money, and not people, because boundaries can’t be drawn against abusive customers.

Team members losing faith in the leader’s credibility, and eventually leaving, because they don’t have that long-term relationship with the boss that goes years back.

Coddling equals bias equals poor leadership. When you tolerate bad behavior, you accept the consequences of splash-back on your organization.

(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Work Shouldn’t Hurt – National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. And while it’s easy to reduce our thinking of this to mere playground bullying between children, statistics about workplace bullying will change your mind.

A Monster.com survey in October 2019 found that nearly 94% out of 2081 employees said they had been bullied in the workplace. That’s a huge increase (19%) in the last eleven years.

Over half (51.1%) in that survey said they were bullied by a boss or other leader. The methods used included aggressive email tones (23.3%), coworkers’ negative gossip (20.2%) and someone yelling at them (17.8%).

Another recent study shows differing, yet still alarming statistics:

  • Almost 72 percent of employees report being bullied themselves or have witnessed other employees being bullied
  • Some 65 million U.S employees report being affected by workplace bullying
  • 93 percent of adult Americans support a law outlawing generalized bullying in the workplace

Studies in Malaysia, United Kingdom and Australia also indicate the rise of workplace bullying is a concern in their work forces.

Workplace bullying refers to repeated actions aimed towards employees meant to insult them. Actions like this pose a risk to employees’ health and safety.

There is a difference between bullying and aggression. Aggression usually involves a single act. In contrast, bullying behavior involves repeated actions against a target.

It is a current pattern of behavior.

Bullying at work involves an abuse of power. Intimidating, humiliating and degrading an employee are behaviors of bullying. It creates a feeling of helplessness in the bullying target.

The overlap of definitions between workplace bullying and workplace violence, according to OSHA, are becoming more congruent. It very much aligns with the domestic definition of emotional abuse by a spouse and domestic violence. The similarities are striking, and concerning.

Several studies have confirmed a relationship between bullying, on the one hand, and an autocratic leadership and an authoritarian way of settling conflict or dealing with disagreements, on the other. An authoritarian style of leadership may create a climate of fear, where there is little or no room for dialogue and where complaining may be considered futile.

Just because bullying is common doesn’t mean it’s normal. This is unacceptable behavior and it should not be normalized.

Work Shouldn’t Hurt: Take Action

If you’re being bullied or witnessing it at work, don’t silence yourself and don’t let it continue. Document the bullying actions, and report them to your supervisor, or to HR if your supervisor is the perpetrator.

If HR or your supervisors won’t help, it’s best to leave for a better organization where a bullying culture is not tolerated, not matter how well the bully performs her or his job.

Bullying has been a concern linked to mental problems, stress, and suicides throughout the world.

Workplace bullying can take an enormous toll on your mental health. In addition to anxiety, depression and turning to substance abuse, workplace bullying strips another human being of their dignity. If you find yourself having health issues or behavioral or emotional trauma, it’s best to seek professional help to get you on the right path to bring yourself whole again.

Workplace bullying is a behavior that is allowed to happen when people create a culture to manipulate the perceived benefits of a few over the common good of all. It’s time to call it out for what it is and enable your organization to change – either by removing the bully’s behavior or removing good people from them to better workplace cultures and promoting a more civilized way of work.

(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

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