Beth, marketing director of a growing Portland, Oregon hotel/restaurant business, told session seven of Turbo's Leadership Development Lab...
"I know I'm an organized person and multi-task well. In spite of my ability to keep many 'plates spinning' simultaneously with very little stress, I had developed the bad habit of letting paperwork and PS's build up as the day unfolds. Each evening I would end up taking paperwork home to finish it up after dinner. My husband was rightfully complaining that I wasn't spending enough time with him. I knew the value of torching each piece of paper just once, taking appropriate action, and moving on to the next task! However, it wasn't until I read Making Moments Matter that I relearned the valuable lesson of not procrastinating, taking action on that piece of paper, completing the task now! This way I could move onto the next task with a feeling of success and completion. By fully completing a task before going to the next task, I was able to bring full concentration and the energy and creativity needed to complete each task quickly and efficiently.
"Now that I am functioning, operating, living from what I only knew about before, I have a feeling of being in control of my time, and the ability to focus my energy on those priority tasks that really do matter, what Larry calls the 'vital few.' This gives me more energy. Most importantly, I've gained more time in the evenings with my husband and as a result, feel more energized at work.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of not putting off those tasks I dislike doing.
"The action I call you to take is discipline yourself to touch each piece of paper only once, make appropriate notes on it, file it or throw it away and then move on energetically with a clear conscience. Be focused, be active, and you will be more in control of your time.
"The benefit you will gain is more control of your life, more energy, and a greater sense of satisfaction from your work. You will have more peace of mind and experience greater fulfillment."
This lesson, as Beth says, requires more than knowing. It requires more than reading about the idea or hearing about the idea. It requires a new sense of personal awareness of your actual behavior patterns. Your habits. The ability to make a decision - quickly to decide on it, act on it, or throw it out. You may have to even give up the idea that taking work home or staying in the office long hours is something to be proud of. Replace this idea with how much you achieve each day - not how many hours you work.
decide & act or throw it out