How’s your week been? Did you get a chance to try out Wunderlist? What’d you think?
Maybe you wished the app was similar to a weekly planner – if so, we’ve got just what you need!
Let’s check out App #2: Opus Domini Lite
Who tested it?
- Project Coordinator for multiple internal, high-visibility projects with dispersed stakeholders
- Fast learner who loves crossing things off a to-do list and staying ahead of colleagues and clients
- Husband, Sport Enthusiast, and avid Board Gamer
Why I like it:
- Works like an easy day- by- day planner, just like your paper one would look!
- The search function pulls up different buckets to narrow down the results
- Easy to track tasks with the selectable status icons
- Syncs with google calendar and you can create new calendar appointments on the app
- Simple goal tracking, with a fun progress bar to show how far you’ve come
- Cool “compass” to help you keep tabs on your physical, mental, social, and physical goals
- Ability to forward tasks to a selected date
- It’s free!
What could be better?
- No alarm feature for tasks
- Not able to share lists or tasks
- Only available for Apple products
Our bottom line:
Opus Domini Lite provides the chance to keep tabs on goals in all different areas of your life. It is a solid one stop shop for calendar and task productivity.
Try it out—let us know what you think!
How have your 2015 goals been going? Making some progress? Hoping to make some headway soon?
Sometimes (we’re not pointing fingers here!) it’s hard to remember the goals or deadlines we’ve created for ourselves. It’s also exponentially harder to get things done if we don’t have some accountability.
Want to create that accountability for yourself? We’ve found some apps for that job!
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll review a productivity/tracking app road-tested by one of our teammembers that will help you focus on (and hold yourself accountable to) the goals you’ve created.
Let’s check out App #1: Wunderlist
Who tested it?
- Program Manager for 5, global, complex projects
- Lover of learning and thinking strategically
- Wife, frequent Instagrammer, and Mom of 2 kids (under 2 years)
Why I like it?
- Multiple to-do lists for today, this week, this month, this year, etc.
- Sharing capabilities for some (or all) of your lists with your friends
- Simple layout, making it very user friendly
- Easy task management that includes due dates, reminders, stars, and list groups
- It’s free!
What could be better?
- No sub tasks on created tasks
- No option for reoccurring tasks
This app is very easy to use for both you and sharing your goals with others! I found it easy to create to-dos and it was helpful in keeping track of all the different things I have going on in a day!
Stay Tuned: More reviews coming your way next week.
This week we have the chance to move into actually creating some of our goals, so let’s jump in!
Grab that list of words you created on how you want to describe 2015. Last week we made sure these were all things that inspire us and not tasks we feel we have to do.
Ok – now choose one of the words you wrote down. Let’s dig a bit- what are three things you would need to accomplish to make that word a reality?
Now that you have a starting point, lets hear from Coach Tim Kincaid, to craft these into actionable goals. Tim is an executive Coach who specializes in helping leaders become more focused, effective, and successful.
“I like the SMART goal approach, which is a popular model. Run any goal through the SMART filter.
S = Specific
Vague goals render vague results. Specific means you can articulate the details of the goal:
Ask: What do you want to accomplish? Why is this important and can you name specific benefits or purposes? Who is involved and who will benefit? Where is the location? Which requirements and constraints are anticipated?
M = Measurable
How you will quantify or measure the outcome.
Ask: When the goal is accomplished, state how you will know – what will be different?
What gets measured gets done!
A = Actionable / Attainable
State how the goal will be accomplished and results attained.
Ask: What actions are necessary or possible to accomplish the goal?
R = Relevant / Realistic
The goal is directly relevant to desired outcome and is a goal that truly matters. The goal also is realistic. It may cause you to really “stretch” but also has a realistic chance of success.
T = Time-bounded
A SMART Goal has specific milestones and deadlines to measure progress.
Ask: By when will specific sub tasks and the final goal be completed?
T= can also stand for Thrilling – is this goal juicy, scary and exciting? There is lots of momentum to Thrilling goals!
Use the SMART criteria to turn those three ideas into achievable goals.
And, doesn’t the progress feel GREAT?
I know… the picture almost makes you cringe.
Maybe it’s because you are experiencing the cold of winter and you can’t even remember what 50 degrees feels like.
But more likely it’s because of all the impeding deadlines you just realized you need to complete in the next 26 days. I know… I feel the pressure too.
Maybe it is a big project? Or two or three…? Or all those sales goals you are expected to make during the holidays? Or figuring out how to pitch to the last big client you are hoping to land before the end of the year?
How do you keep your cool and relax during it all?
These three suggestions given by Forbes are a great place to start. Particularly insightful, especially for this time of year, is the point that a lot of times stress is not one big event but rather lots of little events that built up over time.
During the month of December when there are holidays, family gatherings, work celebrations, and days off- all of the little things that need to get done can add up rather quickly. Recognizing each pressure and creating lists and goals are a great way to prioritize your daily needs (both personal and professional).
Hang in there!
Do you feel it yet? I do.
The holidays are so close and yet so far away. They are close enough where the bit of cold weather (or snow) is almost exciting. But far enough away that the routine of every day is still mundane.
The next two months are filled with excitement and family celebrations along with pressure and deadlines.
Sometimes it feels overwhelming to manage it all.
So when you are having one of those days when the deadline feels all too close, your direct report needed to have that conversation with you, and it feels like there just isn’t time to get is all done, here are a couple of suggestions.
For just a few minutes.
Take a walk.
Go get a cup of coffee.
Look out the window.
Remember why you do what you do.
Picture the celebration of the season.
Remember the feelings of accomplishment you’ve had before.
Know that you will get it all done.
Sometimes taking a 5 minute break from all the pressure can create the mental space we need to get the job done!
Even if you are not usually a list-loving person, the chances are, with all that’s on your plate – you have lots of lists.
And, adding something – anything – to that list just makes it feel even more impossible to get everything done.
When we heard from Lisa Harper, an executive Coach for over 20 years, she said that one reason we don’t delegate is because, “we feel we don’t have time to explain the project or task and we think it’s easier to just do it ourselves, not thinking about the long term impact this can have”.
Ringing a (rather loud) bell?
Here’s what she suggests:
“Consider the long term benefits of delegation versus the small amount of time invested to delegate a task. Is it more productive to spend a little time now teaching someone else how to do something or continue to do it yourself?
Understand that one of the key responsibilities for managers is the building of their talent bench. Your employees deserve work that challenges and stretches their capabilities. Delegating interesting projects and tasks is a way to do that.
Remember that a lack of delegation can translate into unmotivated employees resulting in turnover which is expensive and even more time-consuming.
Many of my clients tell me their manager wants them to be more strategic. Use this time to focus on the higher level goals of your business, team or work group.”
Wow! Thanks, Lisa!
Take a look at the week ahead and all you have to accomplish.
Even though finding the time to train someone on the new task may seem impossible, consider Lisa’s suggestions above and think about the long-term benefits of you delegating a task next week!
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has really taken off in the past few weeks raising awareness about ALS but also giving people a feeling of unity for a common purpose.
When we lead from knowing where we are going and what we are doing it brings unity (and also encourages peoples to do some pretty crazy things… like pouring ice water on their heads!)
But, sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by all the tasks that need to be accomplished that we lose sight of the people we are leading.
With deadlines looming, new goals being added, and the lingering feeling that your boss is going to want to have that conversation with you- it’s no wonder your team can get overlooked.
So, what is something we can do to manage the things to allow you time to look at the bigger picture?
Entrepreneur has 10 helpful suggestions for managing your time in ways that work. What’s one place to start?
Try starting every morning by taking some time (15-30 minutes) to plan out your day. Identify a couple of items that have to get done, incorporate time for interruptions, and schedule in a little time to plan for your team and their development. We recommend even blocking that time on your calendar, so it doesn’t get lost or taken up by other things.
Having a better handle on what to expect for your day will give you the ability to manage each task.
From there, it is easier to balance the tasks that need to get done and spending time with the people you are leading.
The phrase “work life balance” used to get thrown around quite a bit. No one successful seemed to have it unless they were individuals at the tippy top of the organization – flying around in private jets to private islands with private yachts. This balance was incentive to prioritize, delegate, and use time more wisely. Despite getting better at prioritizing, delegating, and using time more wisely, I found finding work life balance as infuriating as “work smarter, not harder” – as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
We’re now connected to work – and to life – in a wholly different way. I can sneak a peek in on my friends on Facebook from my laptop in the middle of a mind numbing conference call. I check and answer work emails from Asia before I go to bed because it’s morning for them, though night for me. Technology and the changing ways of managing and leading require us to integrate and prioritize work and life in a different way.
For more thoughts on integration, go here.
Workforce myths busted here.
And finally, for a chuckle on your Friday, watch what a conference call in real life might look like here.
Before you start prioritizing, ask yourself “who cares?”
Here’s my handy dandy graphic priority organizer.
- If you don’t care and no one else does – why is it on the list anyway?
- If you care and no one else does – you get to keep it on the list
- If you don’t care and everyone else does – keep it on the list
- If you care and everyone else does – it should be close or at least up at the top of the list
Remember to ask yourself “who cares?” not only to prioritize, but to organize your thoughts, your team, and your project plan on how and when to get something done.
‘Who cares’ is hard:
- It means not checking every email the minute it comes in
- It means prioritizing, focusing, and doing the things that you and others care about, even if they’re hard or less interesting
- It means not getting into the water cooler gossip chain, even if it’s fun and scandalous
Customize your priorities using the “Who Cares?” question.