Hang on – where the hell did March go?

I have so much to do and April – pah! it’s not even a whole month!

You can easily fall into the ‘I have a month to do…..’ and then realise in April you actually only have 2 full working weeks to play with. Anxiety-making!

So I was thinking about April (not enough time) and everything we still have to get done to prepare for the launch of B-Suite Leaders (too much to do), and I started listening to Barak Obama talking about how he gets things done.

I know that’s multi-tasking, but I figured if a (pretty good) leader of the free world can overcome the too much to do and not enough time conundrum, then so can I.

Here’s what I learned.

  • no1 – break it up into pieces – “Nothing big gets done all at once, and there’s no point in being anxious about trying to do everything.”
  • no2 – build a team – “Most of the big things we do in life, we’re not going to do alone.”
  • no3 – Be kind to yourself, you’ll actually get more done. “Be a little forgiving of yourself, knowing that nothing’s going to be perfect.”

 

Employment Hero’s recent wellness report tells us that our personal productivity dropped from 72% in 2023 to 56% in 2022. It’s not getting better. Every organisation I work with is struggling with workload overwhelm like never before.

Do burnout and productivity go hand in hand? Of course they do.
Is productivity the cure for burnout? No, it isn’t.
But it can contribute greatly when we take Obama’s advice:

Be kind to yourself:

This is the part we all skip in our haste to take action.

But when you’ve got something big to achieve, you need to gather your inner resources first. Sleep, eat, exercise, think.

Positive procrastination is the equivalent of taking time to sharpen your axe, so when you feel the pressure to start choppin’ that big metaphorical tree, just hold on. Be kind to yourself first.

You’re the axe. The sharper you are, the faster that tree falls.

Break it up into pieces:

If you have one big goal on your to-do list it’ll paralyse you. It sits there staring at you like a huntsman spider.
But a longer list of smaller things that add up to the same outcome? No problem. They are more like ants.

That’s a primary productivity hack that we often lose sight of when we are overwhelmed and flustered. I’m a big one for 2 hour blocks where I aim to just get one thing done.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Build a team:

There’s an African proverb that says “if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”

Big goals are your long journeys.

And as a leader, this is an area where we often make a fundamental error.

When your team is under the pump, you’ll be tempted to put your shoulder to the wheel alongside them. Noble, but not helpful.

Stand back and ask your team ‘what’s the work that only I can do?’

They might tell you things like ‘get this stakeholder off our case so we can get this done’, ‘get us budget for another headcount’ or ‘we need to be clearer on the plan, it’s chaos’. If you’re busy with your shoulder to the wheel, then who’s doing your job?

What are your top tips when faced with big, scary, challenging tasks ….every ….. single…. day?

Listen to Barak’s full podcast here 

Sponsor me to walk 45km for Heart Health

Feeling the pressure? Take the BoldHR® SNAPSHOT to find out how you compare to other B-Suite Leaders right now.  

Going far? Want company? Don’t go alone.  Join the wait list for the B-Suite Community where you can share your challenges – and solutions – with like-minded leaders soon.  

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Rebecca is Australia’s pre-eminent advocate for B-suite leadership – the expert in developing hi-impact B-Suite leadership at both a team and individual level.

Speak to Rebecca about:

                        • Individual and group coaching
                        • Team effectiveness and training
                        • People & Culture Advisory

 

You can reach her on rebecca@boldhr.com

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