The new year is well and truly underway. About this time, the euphoria of last year end’s festivities is winding down and the new goals, targets and challenges of this year are starting to present themselves.

How’s your progress so far?

Have you been able to capitalise on the momentum of newness?

How are you doing on resolutions?  We trust you are experiencing a measure of success.

In this second blog article for this month, we thought we would like to share with you our top three simple yet highly effective best practices for personal effectiveness and leadership impact.

In Third Place: Ask clarifying questions.

  • What problem are we trying to solve?
  • What happens if we did nothing?
  • Who is the ultimate person or customer we need to satisfy?
  • Who is the best person to work on this?
  • What does success look like?

These are a few sample questions that help distinguish productive effort from futile actions. A few minutes up front to answer these questions guide the best actions for the best results.

In Second Place:  Write down a “NOT-TO-DO” List

Are you the sort of person who uses a “To-Do” list? It’s the most basic tool for personal organization and many experience a certain satisfaction in striking off each item on the list. Except it is often un-discerning in priority and impact. Less significant tasks get done at the expense of more critical ones. We like the opposite idea.  Having made your usual “To-Do” list, highlight those items you will NOT do for the day. This mental de-cluttering saves energy to focus on other key areas.

Finally, in First Place … (drumroll) … FOCUS!

Identify the key need, challenge or problem you want to address for the day and schedule complete attention. Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project advocates the 90-Minute Plan for Personal Effectiveness where the key project of the day is given 90 minutes uninterrupted, undivided attention. Yes, phones and email are switched off, doors are locked if necessary.  More is often achieved in this hour and a half with greater results and satisfaction than the rest of the day put together.

What’s your favourite personal effectiveness tip?  Please add a comment and share with us.