Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Aren't You Getting Things Done?

As I mentioned is a previous post, I am a bit of a productivity systems junkie. I've tried just about every system and philosophy out there. All work for a while - but none have really stuck until now. I've finally settled on a two-tier system.

I keep my to do's in a project collaboration system and use a mind map for day-to-day project management. I've been thinking about why I haven't been able to find something that works until now. Here are what I think are some of the major reasons people get stuck in a productivity rut.

1. Lack of a Workflow -- In an ideal system -- tasks move from idea to implementation to done. But, anyone who works *with* anyone else knows that it is rarely that easy. The more people involved in getting things done the more tasks move back and forth on the completion timeline.

The key to managing this seems to be having a great communication and collaboration system that tracks tasks and input so anyone on the team can pick up where others leave off. I recommend basecamp for this type of collaboration.

2. Too Many Items On Your List This problem actually stems from problem #1. If you don't have a good handle on your projects -- you can't know how much time you have for new projects. The other major cause of too much on the list syndrome are not being willing to delegate and not being able to say no (which when you think about it are the same thing).

3. Lack of Control Over Inbox OK this is another outgrowth of numbers 1 and 2. I used to feel that I had very little control over my workflow. My clients would send me work to do and set deadlines. What experience has taught me is that if my schedule looks full - it is much easier to "just say no" and offer an alternative date than it is to promise to meet a deadline that you can't make - and then do a poor job.

4. Poor Communication Ultimately your success in any service business depends on how well you can communicate with your clients. If you don't communicate well, you end up wasting more time asking for further clarification. You also run the risk of burning the midnight oil to meet a deadline that it turns out is not all that important to your client.

5. Lack of Confidence One of my clients has an excellent course called Productivity Mindset Mastery which presents a unique angle on the productivity puzzle. She presents procrastination as basically due to a lack of confidence. Either we don't release the final product because we are afraid of what people are thinking *or* we spend so much time re-hashing prior conversations and worrying that we don't get things done. Lack of confidence can also lead to perfectionism which does not lead to projects being finished. A great way to build your confidence it to get things "good enough", release them, get feedback and then tweak them more.

Why don't you get things done?

By : Meredith_Eisenberg

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