Overload is a definite roadblock to production

The convention is over and everyone has gone home. How much follow-up is happening today? I spent five extra days in San Diego after the National Speakers Association (NSA) convention http://www.nsaspeaker.org/index.shtml. Part of my time was visiting old haunts as I graduated from San Diego State many years ago and part of the time was reflecting on the convention. To be fair, more time was spent recharging my soul than following-up on lessons learned. However, I did take the first tentative steps in moving forward and chucking unnecessary jobs on my To Do list.

Today I’m sitting in the airport waiting to catch a flight back to Calgary. You might say it’s my first real office day as I have a couple of hours before my flight. I’ve been very productive in these two hours and such a time always reminds me that short, dedicated work times are frequently better than long, drawn out work times. In just a short period I’ve put my plans in place for the rest of this week and next. I’ve also put some solid work into a session I’m conducting with a client on Monday. I’ve been productive and can see the positive results.

So how do you incorporate what you learn at conventions into your real world? For me it’s being smart and specific, if anything is going to work. Several years ago at my first NSA convention in New Orleans I attended all the sessions time allowed and took notes and more notes. Most got ignored because I was so confused when I got home that reality didn’t make way for anything new. After that experience I planned better before going to the conventions, primarily NSA and CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) http://www.canadianspeakers.org/ and I only attend sessions that will help move me forward. Overload is a dangerous roadblock to progression.

At the 2007 NSA convention one of my focus areas was the brain and how it works. Definitely something I can use in my work with emerging supervisors and managers. I attended two excellent sessions that provided me with new information and the tools and desire to research further on my own. The two presenters, Dr. John B. Molidor from Haslett, Michigan http://www.nsamichigan.org/pages/MemberPages/moli.html, and Rohit Talwar from London, England, www.rohittalwar.com, shared their wealth of knowledge in a manner than regular folks could understand. What a gift to all of us.

Four other sessions also expanded my world and I encourage everyone to become familiar with Simon T. Bailey from Windermere, Florida http://www.simontbailey.com/; Dr. Sue Morter, Indianapolis, Indiana http://www.dynamiclifetraining.com/sue_bio.php; Dan Burrus, CSP, CPAE from Hartland, Wisconsin http://www.burrus.com/; and Dr. Joe Vitale from Wimberley, Texas www.mrfire.com. If you’ve seen The Secret, you know Dr. Joe Vitale. When you wander away from this blog, check out all the people I’ve mentioned.

Garth Roberts

Leader Overload – How Do You Cope?

One of the biggest challenges for leaders (and everyone) is to juggle all the tasks that come our way. We’re all so busy, right? Or, are we? Being busy is a choice we all make and our own inability to say “no” leads us to be incredibly busy because someone else wants something from us.

We all have a choice!

I just finished a three-day seminar where I learned a whole bunch and got a dozen or so “assignments” from the speakers. Now it’s my choice to take on the assignments or put them aside. To make this decision I need to do what many leaders choice not to do. I will have to take time to plan and prioritize.

How many times have you said or heard someone say, “I don’t have time to stop and plan. We’re too busy keeping up with what our customers need.”? I’m currently working with a group of supervisors in the manufacturing sector. Their illusion is that they don’t have time to plan because they’d have to stop the assembly line to do the planning. First of all, planning does not have to take hours and it doesn’t have to be done at the expense of a critical operation.

I’ve set aside time over a few days to review my notes from the three-day seminar. This time will be a few minutes during the day, here and there, and some time during the evening or next weekend. Some of this planning will be done while I’m at the National Speakers Association convention in San Diego. And, I already know that at the convention sessions I’ll hear other new ideas that I just might want to work with. Potential overload for my brain, if I don’t strategize and plan how to select what I can use.

Based on my notes from both the seminar and the convention, I’ll make some decisions as to what I will tackle now and what I will tackle down the road. I will put some of the possible assignments in my “not to do” bin as they won’t match my business plan. While the ideas may be great, they aren’t for me.

There was a time when any assignment giving to me became a task that I felt obligated to complete. Guess what my success rate was and how it affected my confidence in my ability to complete projects. I’ve learned that I’m not responsible to everyone to complete everything.

Now I will take the new assignments, analyze them and determine which ones I should tackle. Next I’ll put a plan in place for each assignment – with a timeline for completion. If I don’t put the timeline in place I know my chances of following through are slim. You see, I know me and what I need to guarantee success. Once I have the plan in place I can put it into my schedule without interrupting my current workload. It’s not rocket science; it just takes planning.

How good is your planning? Add a comment with your suggestions for dealing with being busy. How do you keep a balance in your life?

 Garth Roberts