From Conference to the Workplace

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How to maintain momentum and meaningful change

Picture this: you’ve been to a work conference or event and have returned having learnt some great things. You’re refreshed and eager to help others, and want to share the new thoughts, processes and general feelings of renewed motivation you’ve acquired. 

Unfortunately, most of the time it’s not as easy as shouting from a rooftop, and this is often where people will come unstuck. Many of us are collaborators, so look to others to form bonds that in turn help that momentum. We want to share our discoveries in the hope that it keeps the fire going.

Looking for ideas to help you to keep momentum post-conference? Here are five ways to harness your energy and momentum in a positive way.

1.   Know your WHY

First and foremost, it is important for you to understand your ‘Why’. As well as for yourself, you want to develop your story for others to share in.

It’s not enough to say to someone “I went to this conference and it was amazing”. To engage and encourage a conversation, you need to be specific. What people want to know and what will engage them is hidden around the WHY. Why was it amazing? What in particular inspired you, that might also inspire them in turn?

One of our peers returned recently from a conference, and their enthusiasm and descriptions had our team talking and challenging each other.

“One of my highlights was the guest speaker in the first session, Tim Lawless ...have you heard of him? He gave such an in-depth overview of the market and current trends and broke it down by segment. He challenged my thinking on where we are investing our energy and resources. I think we could be doing more with the same resources..”

We loved this WHY because it gave specifics. It helped its audience to understand what they may have taken out of the conference themselves, or what they might gain from hearing these key points in person. It helped them understand the benefits that the attendee got from their investment in going.

2.   Document your action plan

Before you leave the conference; draft an action plan. What specifically do you want to do differently, implement, change or stop as a result of what you have learnt?

Develop some milestones for yourself. What will the end of week 1, week 8 and week 12 look like? How will you know that you are successful? What does this look like? Be specific.

3.   Identify barriers

Accept that there will be barriers. Think through how you are going to overcome them.  There will be challenges and changes in priorities, some you will be able to control and others you won’t.  Identifying these possible roadblocks beforehand and how you will overcome them will go a long way to keeping you on track when your day or week becomes derailed. 

4.   Share your plan

Work with someone at the conference to share your action plan and agree to support each other to hold accountability.  Schedule a time to catch up after the conference to review the action plan, talk through challenges and share any success stories.  

In addition to someone who attended the conference, consider sharing your plan with someone who wasn’t at the conference, but is engaged in your development and growth.  In most cases, this person would likely be your manager.  Schedule time to talk them through your WHY from the conference, take them through your action plan including what you believe success will look like. 

5.   Make time to reflect

Finally, make time to reflect.  Reflection turns your experience into genuine learning. Re-read any materials you have, as well as any notes you took.

Review your action plan and identify if there is anything you could be doing differently to help you to achieve your plan.

Take the time to make new notes include what you have applied or learnt since the event. Is there anything outside the event that has happened that has complemented your learning or helped you to develop further?

When you reflect and see all the sources of your learning as a web of connected experiences as opposed to siloed learnings, you build and understand your capabilities holistically and will be making sustainable change.

 

 

Anzac Day 2018

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On the morning of 25 April 1915, the Anzacs set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople (now known as Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and an ally of Germany.

As Anzacs landed on Gallipoli they were met with fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. The Anzacs quickly realised that their plan to knock Turkey out of the war was not going to be as easy as first thought, and the campaign turned into an eight-month battle.

At the end of 1915, the allied forces were evacuated. Both sides suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed.

The 25th of April has become a day when Australians remember the sacrifice of those who fought and died in the war.

As the bugle player sounds the finals cords of the “Last Post” the emotions are sorrow and gratitude

Sorrow for the lives lost and the families left behind to hear the news of lost loved ones. Gratitude for these men and women and their families that made a sacrifice so big that the impact is still known today.

It’s a time to reflect on all the past, and present soldiers and their families who have given so much so that we may have a life many aren’t afforded.

I am grateful that we came to work this morning in a war free country, a free country where I can choose my profession and am free to work. Grateful for my freedom of speech and the voice they gave us all those years ago.

The choice to come to work and to choose your occupation is a privilege.  I consider my opportunity to work with APRG a privilege. I am in a position where I connect with people every day to help them to have meaningful working lives and work with meaningful businesses. I have chosen to participate in work that makes the future brighter for others and that gives me incredible satisfaction.

Thank you to the past and present for paving a way that allows me to do what I love in a safe environment.

 

Lest We Forget

How To Get Home Earlier Today and Every Day

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Task management skills are crucial for effective people (and therefore effective teams).  It is the effectiveness of what you do in each hour of your day, not the number of hours you do that determines the results you and your team accomplish.

The number one excuse for not getting something done or feeling stressed, anxious and overworked both professionally and personally is not having enough time.

If the number one excuse is a lack of time and we all have the same 24 hours, 1440 minutes, or 86400 seconds in a single day, how is it that some people can get so much more done in much less time?

They do this not through managing time but in managing themselves in relation to time; in other words, effective and highly efficient task management. 

Effective task management requires commitment and consistent effort. That being said, some small changes can have huge benefits. For example, if you can convert just ten minutes of wasted time per day to productive work, you gain back almost an hour of productivity in your week and an additional week of productivity in your year. If you can convert 45 minutes of wasted time a day to productive work, you gain almost four hours of additional productivity a week.  That’s half a work day!

And if you think you don’t have time to focus on task management then consider this; mastering your tasks will allow you to better control your workload and functionality even under intense pressure liberating you from much of the stress and overwhelm plaguing your work day.

 

1.      Create A Daily To Do List. Start with a weekly plan at the beginning of the week identifying what needs to be done this week to ensure you are on track towards meeting your goals. Break your weekly plan down into daily tasks.  Before you leave for the day, write out your daily task list for the next day. Build this list based on what you didn’t get done today that needs to be carried over and completed tomorrow and what needs to be done to ensure you reach your weekly goals.  And schedule your least favourite task first to get it out of the way. (see 5)

 

2.      Set Priorities - Priorities are often based on a deadline or who is yelling the loudest. Schedule deadlines for important tasks and break them down to ensure they get done and are not overtaken by urgent tasks. Prioritise your task list with a simple A, B and C and allocate your activity to spend 70% of your day on priority As, 20% on priority Bs and 10% on priority Cs.

 

3.      Develop Effective Scheduling Habits - Schedule your day based around what you need to get done.  You have as much control over your time as you exert.  Leave your time open-ended, and you will consume it with low-value activities.  Put a time frame on your work activities, and you will be surprised how quickly you begin to get things done. For example, a primary time waster is giving attention to email as it arrives. Schedule time at both the beginning and end of the day to read and respond to email. Have an automatic reply set up to advise your email hours and if it is business critical then to call you.

 

4.      Manage Distractions - As things come in during the day use the 4 Ds

Do It

If it can be done in less than 5 minutes then it fits the ‘one touch rule’ so do it now

Dump It

If it doesn’t require your attention or is not worthy of your time i.e. tasks that you are being advised about as a ‘keep in the loop’ let it go

Defer it

Schedule a time and space for it then put it out of your mind

Delegate it

Especially if it’s not your responsibility but ask for a note that it has been completed especially if it is part of a larger body of work for which you are responsible.

 

5.      Stop Procrastinating - Make a list of all those things you are currently procrastinating about so they are out in the open and can no longer be ignored. Prioritise in order of how much you don’t want to do the task and put the one you don’t want to do on your daily To Do list as a Priority A and then do it. Once one is out of the way, you’ll feel better equipped to deal with the rest. Aim to complete one of your procrastination tasks every month.

 

6.      Learn To Say No - Say no to time wasters such as meetings that are not critical for you to attend. Meetings that are called at the last minute, meetings with no agenda, those with no designated meeting place arranged, have a vague topic or a simple subject matter that could be resolved by email are most likely a waste of your valuable time and are best avoided.

 

7.      Take Breaks – a break will allow you to refresh, recharge and refocus making you significantly more productive. We were not designed to work at optimum levels without a break. Scientific studies have shown productivity drops over time if we force concentration. Go for a short walk in the sun and grab some water or lunch, you’ll be better for it.

 

Focusing on better task management will make your day more productive, but more importantly it will free you to wave goodbye to the office that bit earlier. And getting home at 5pm instead of 7pm means more time doing those things you’d rather be doing with those you’d rather be doing them with.

How To Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

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"The secret to getting ahead is getting started".

- Mark Twain, author


January 1st heralded the beginning of a brand new year and a new beginning where we turned from what was and prepared to lean into what could be. There will be many who reflected on 2017 and immediately put it behind them as yet another year of dreams unfulfilled and goals not realised. There are others who basked in the success of a spectacular year breathing in the heady scent of achievement wrapped in an aura of fame, gain and accomplishment.

Which one are you?

New year’s eve has come and gone and, if the Huffington Post is to be believed, 92% of new year’s resolutions will already have fallen by the wayside.

That doesn’t mean you can’t hit the reset button and still fulfil the promise to yourself that 2018 will be different. And it can be when you unleash the power of goal setting to help make this Year your best year.

What will make 2018 outstanding for you?

Deciding what it is you actually want can be the hardest part of goal setting simply because we let the ‘hows’ get in the way of the ‘whats’. Too often we can’t see how something can be achieved so we put what we want to one side as being unachievable.

To get clear on what you want, imagine for a moment that you have in your possession, a magic wand.  If you were to wave a magic wand and everything was exactly as you want it to be on 31st December 2018, how would it be? What would you be seeing, hearing, feeling, experiencing in your perfect world?

What will it take for your life to be fearlessly easier, better and more fulfilling?

Write this down in as much detail as possible. This is your plan for 2018.

To enjoy a balanced approach to life, experiencing success across the board, set goals in all areas of your life; three goals per area is ideal although there is no limit, set as many as works for you.

Key life areas:

1.       Finance

2.       Career

3.       Family

4.       Health and Well-being

5.       Relationships

6.       Personal Growth

7.       Home Environment

8.       Community Contribution

Meaningful goals are SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

The more specific you are with your goals the greater the chance you will achieve your desired outcomes. For example, a goal to have more money is too vague. If I hand you $5, you now have more money. Was that what you wanted? No? Having an additional $25K in your bank account tomorrow may be measurable but not perhaps achievable or realistic. The more clearly defined the goal, the better.

Specific:   What it is you want? Why it is important? Why do you want it? Is anyone else involved and if so, who? What requirements and constraints, if any, apply? 

Measurable:   How will you know when you have achieved it? 

Actions:   What are the steps required to achieve your goal? Make the steps small and easy. 

Realistic:   What will you need to do/learn/find out to achieve each step? Is your goal aligned with where you are headed in life?

Timely:   When? Set a deadline for the completion of your goal and to celebrate. This will keep you motivated and moving.

It’s very liberating to make the decision to live life on your terms, take charge of your direction and step boldly forward to make your life whatever you want it to be.

If you want to do something different in 2018, then make it this. Decide what you want, set the goals to get you there and then take massive action.

The future is yours.