Business coaching 2
Many of my clients coming for business coaching work at senior levels in their organisation or run their own business. It is clear that there are often just four key aspects which need addressing as an initial focus which in turn improves continued professional commitment and success. Perhaps these will resonate with you.
As obvious as it may be, emails just get in the way of what we do. How many emails do you receive each day, each week or each month? Potentially hundreds I’m sure. How we deal with them is crucial in terms of ensuring a successful day.
We are often alert to the buzz of their arrival. They serve as a distraction to more pressing work – time with your team, project work, creating your vision, self development and setting/reviewing objectives. Can you relate? There’s something engaging about emails too. Who is it from? What are they asking from me? How am I needed?
You are not alone in email overload and mismanagement.
The key is to be more slick and focused. Let’s look at a very simple, yet effective strategy. Time set aside for a 40 to 60 minute window twice or three times each day is most effective for reviewing incoming mail. And following review more important action. You are aiming to avoid looking at emails numerous times - twice should be your maximum.
File some for reference if absolutely needed, delete others and look to deal immediately with those needing attention. For those needing immediate attention you should have a short or longer term strategy. Respond if really needed and then diarise and allocate future time in your schedule to review and focus on the bigger considerations.
Review contacts who include you in correspondence irrelevantly and unsubscribe from unhelpful sources or those no longer needed. Read newsletters and updates within the 40 minute allocated time slot and do not file if further reference is likely.
It will take discipline to implement but will guarantee a better way of working. The shift from inquisitiveness to business will make a big difference. Try it for a week and review the impact.
Reigniting that spark
Often a feeling of demotivation is apparent. It is important to understand why. It is so important to know and be clear about what you actually love about your role. List the positive factors. What sits true for you? Include them. Are you doing enough of them? Are you involved sufficiently? How could you ensure most of your working week involves what you get your buzz or energy from? A few things might need to change!
Also, consider what aspects of your role you don’t feel so good about. Could you delegate? Pass it over as a development opportunity for someone else who is keen to learn and grow? Is some time out of the business required? What needs to be different? Sit with all of this over a period of a week or so.
Meetings of over an hour generally result in loss of focus, attention and productivity. Many go from one meeting to the next with no time to actually do their work or connect with their role. Meetings are worth reviewing for effectiveness and regularity. Decline those you have just got into the habit of being invited to or attending. Cut the time you are present. Obtain agendas and minutes for those you don’t absolutely need to be at. This is about managing meetings effectively too.
No matter how much you enjoy your job, time off is crucial. Extended working hours are not sustainable long term and affect health and well-being as well as diluting the enjoyment of most things personal. Decide what days you need to work late and those you can leave at a more reasonable hour. Stick to your plan and notice the difference it makes. Often in coaching clients tell me they don’t know what to do if they aren't working. Wouldn’t that be exciting to explore!
Regularly switch off laptops and phones. Have a different business and personal mobile to help divide the two aspects of life.
Addressing these four key factors can make such a positive difference. Don’t we all want that?
You can create space to work through these aspects to create a solid foundation and to feel fully connected with what is important again. Decide priorities and how you want to feel. Look at what needs to change. Seek professional help or support if needed. Your spark, effectiveness, enthusiasm and success are likely to return.
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About Sue MacGillivray
Sue MacGillivray is a well established, extensively experienced and highly regarded accredited Glasgow-based life and business coach. She is passionate about people and supporting them to be their best self. Along with her private practice, she is a corporate consultant and a regular media contributor. She also loves butterflies!