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Archive for the ‘Brian Tracy’ Category

Michelangelo and hard work …

My thanks to Brian Tracy for reminding me of this quote from Michelangelo
“If people knew how hard I worked to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful.”

Do What You Do Best; Delegate the Rest

By Brian Tracy

There is a strong likelihood that the things you do best are those for which you would pay another person your hourly rate. Another way of stating this is, “delegate any tasks that can be performed by a person earning less than your hourly rate—or your desired hourly rate.”

Delegate to a Person with Demonstrated Competence
Having determined what to delegate, the next step is to select the person to whom you will delegate the task. If you delegate an important task to a person who is incapable of performing adequately, you are setting that individual up for failure while inviting disappointment and frustration on your part. This is not to say the person has to be as capable as you. But he must have sufficient skills and experience to effectively perform the delegated task. Choose carefully. It is in the best interest of the person to whom you are delegating and of course, in your own best interest as well.

Define the Task Clearly
Be clear as to your intended outcome. What is the end result you want to achieve when the delegated task has been completed? Make every effort to describe this clearly to the person to whom you are delegating the task. Then ask her to repeat her understanding of the assigned task. If her description is not an accurate summary of what you want to accomplish, explain the differences in detail and ask her to again feed back to you her understanding of the assignment. If the two of you do not start out on the same page, there is little likelihood of success.

Set a Deadline
Set a clear deadline for completion of the delegated task. Do not be vague. An ambiguous target such as “sometime next week,” or “as soon
as you can get it done” will not serve either of you well. Without a clearly defined completion date, there will be no sense of urgency, and the job may very well drag on ad infinitum, frustrating you both.

Establish Benchmarks
It will be important for both of you to be able to gauge the progress being made as the delegated task is carried out. Specifically, how will you measure this progress? Reach agreement on the yardstick by which you will make such judgments.

Agree on Consequences
What will be the consequences of the person successfully completing the delegated task? Are these consequences known by the person charged with the responsibility of carrying them out? Are they important to him? Will they serve to motivate him? The consequences do not have to be
enormous, but they should be meaningful to him. Otherwise they will have little effect. Their emotional import is what will have the greatest affect.

Put it in Writing
Before the delegated assignment is launched, there is one additional important step. Have the entire process described to this point
documented in a written agreement. Then, have each of you sign it. Psychologically, this final step transforms your mutual understanding into a
commitment.

Action Exercise
What one activity or task that does not represent the highest and best use of your time, but that is nevertheless important to the success of
your business, will you delegate?

Five Qualities of Top Teams

By Brian Tracy

Over the years, exhaustive research has been done on top teams. There seem to be given characteristics or qualities of peak-performance teams that you can incorporate into your own business.

Here they are:

Shared Goals and Objectives
In a smoothly functioning team, everyone is clear about what the team is expected to accomplish. The goals of the team are shared
and discussed by everyone. Each team member gives his or her ideas and input into how the goals and objectives can be best achieved. Each person feels like a part of a larger organization.

Shared Values and Principles
In excellent teams, there is regular discussion about the values, principles, and behaviors that guide the decisions of the team. The leader encourages values such as honesty, openness, punctuality, responsibility for completing assignments, quality work, and so on. Everyone
discusses and agrees on what they are.

Shared Plans of Action
In this phase of team building, you go around the table and have each member of the team explain exactly what part of the work he
or she is going to accept responsibility for completing. At the end of this discussion, each member knows what every other member is going to be doing and how his or her own work fits in with the work of the team.

Lead the Action
There must always be a clear boss or leader in any organization. Democracy is a fine concept, but it goes only so far in business.
Someone must be in command and take charge. And that someone is probably you. On a good team, everyone knows who is in charge. The leader sets an example for the others. The leader becomes the role model.

Continuous Review and Evaluation
In this final phase, the team regularly evaluates its progress from two perspectives. First, is the team getting the results that are expected by its customers or other in the company? In dealing with customers, does the team set up mechanisms to continually ask customers, “how are we doing?”

Bringing the Team Together
One of the most important things you do in building a peak performance organization is to hold regular staff meetings. Bring your people together weekly, at a fixed time, to talk, discuss, catch up on progress, learn how the company is doing, and generally share ideas, opinions, and
insights.

5 Ways to develop a sense of urgency

 

 

5 Ways to Develop A Sense of Urgency
By: Brian Tracy

“Perhaps the most outwardly identifiable quality of  a high performing man or woman is “action orientation.”

1. Take Time to Think and Plan
Highly productive people take the time to think, plan  and set priorities. They then launch quickly and strongly toward their goals and  objectives. They work steadily, smoothly and continuously and seem to go through  enormous amounts of work in the same time period that the average person spends  socializing, wasting time and working on low value activities.

2. Getting into “Flow”
When you work on high value tasks at a high and continuous  level of activity, you can actually enter into an amazing mental state called “flow.”  Almost everyone has experienced this at some time. Really successful people are  those who get themselves into this state far more often than the average.

In the state of “flow,” which is the highest human state of performance and productivity,  something almost miraculous happens to your mind and emotions. You feel elated  and clear. Everything you do seems effortless and accurate. You feel happy and energetic.  You experience a tremendous sense of calm and personal effectiveness.

Eat That Frog Training Kit

3. Become More Alert and Aware
In the state of “flow,” identified and talked about  over the centuries, you actually function on a higher plane of clarity, creativity  and competence. You are more sensitive and aware. Your insight and intuition functions  with incredible precision. You see the interconnectedness of people and circumstances  around you. You often come up with brilliant ideas and insights that enable you  to move ahead even more rapidly.

4. Develop a Sense of Urgency
One of the ways you can trigger this state of flow  is by developing a “sense of urgency.” This is an inner drive and desire to get  on with the job quickly and get it done fast. This inner drive is an impatience  that motivates you to get going and to keep going. A sense of urgency feels very  much like racing against yourself.

5. Create a “Bias for Action”
With this ingrained sense of urgency, you develop  a “bias for action.” You take action rather than talking continually about what  you are going to do. You focus on specific steps you can take immediately. By employing  this technique you concentrate on the things you can do right now to get the results  you want and achieve the goals you desire.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put  these ideas into action:

First, select one major task confronting you and launch into it immediately. Don’t  hesitate. Move fast.

Second, start doing this every morning, first thing, until it becomes a habit.”

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I highly recommend Brian Tracy’s book “Eat That Frog!”

Eat that Frog!

Another article by: Brian Tracy 

“Single Handle Each Task”

Eat that frog! Every bit of planning, prioritizing and organizing comes down to this simple concept.  Your ability to select your most important task, to begin it and then to concentrate on it single mindedly until it is complete is the key to high levels of performance and personal productivity.

The Requirement for Every Great Achievement
Every great achievement of mankind has been preceded by a long period of hard, concentrated work until the job was done. Single handling requires that once you begin, you keep working at the task, without diversion or distraction, until the job is 100% complete. You keep urging yourself onward by repeating the words “Back to work!” over and over whenever you are tempted to stop or do something else.

Reduce Your Time By 50%
By concentrating single mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more.

It has been estimated that the tendency to start and stop a task, to pick it up, put it down and come back to it can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500%.

Each time you return to the task, you have to familiarize yourself with where you were when you stopped and what you still have to do. You have to overcome inertia and get yourself going again. You have to develop momentum and get into a productive work rhythm.

Develop Energy and Enthusiasm
But when you prepare thoroughly and then begin, refusing to stop or turn aside until the job is done, you develop energy, enthusiasm and motivation. You get better and better and more productive. You work faster and more effectively.

Never Waste Time
The truth is that once you have decided on your number one task, anything else that you do other than that is a relative waste of time. Any other activity is just not as valuable or as important as this job, based on your own priorities.

Action Exercises
Eat That Frog! Take action! Resolve today to select the most important task or project that you could complete and then launch into it immediately.

Once you start your most important task, discipline yourself to persevere without diversion or distraction until it is 100% complete. See it as a “test” to determine whether you are the kind of person who can make a decision to complete something and then carry it out. Once you begin, refuse to stop until the job is finished.

Create Large Chunks of Time

Here’s an extract from an article by Brian Tracy in which he discusses creating large blocks of time in your diary to enable you to focus on something important and thereby achieve something useful. 

I use this technique myself when I am planning my week ahead.  If you don’t do this you run the risk of running out of time to complete what needs to be done even though you keep yourself very busy all the time.  Nobody can get everything done.  What matters is focusing on what needs to be done and then planning how long it will take and making sure you keep sufficient time clear from other distractions. 

 The discipline of predicting how long you need to complete something will help you plan for similar tasks in the future.  If you plan that it will take one hour but, in reality, it takes two hours, you should adjust the record in your Diary to help you to make a better estimate next time.  A lot of people I know who don’t manage to get things done seem to considerably under-estimate how long tasks will actually take. 

People also under-value the importance of having short, regular breaks so find themselves dashing from one meeting to the next or writing one Report followed immediately by writing yet another. 

The brain needs short breaks so that you can work at your most productive.

Create Large Chunks of Time
By: Brian Tracy

This strategy requires a commitment from you to work at scheduled times on large tasks. Most of the really important work you do requires large chunks of unbroken time to complete. Your ability to create and carve out these blocks of high value, highly productive time, is central to your ability to make a significant contribution to your work and to your life.

Thoughtfulness may be defined as a careful concern for the secondary consequences of each decision and each action. This is the essence of strategic thinking.

Start Immediately on Number One
Successful salespeople set aside a specific time period each day to phone prospects. Rather than procrastinating or delaying on a task that they don’t particularly like, they resolve that they will phone for one solid hour between 10 and 11 AM and they then discipline themselves to follow through on their resolutions.

Many business executives set aside a specific time each day to call customers directly to get feedback.

Create Specific Amounts of Time
Some people allocate specific 30-60 minute time periods each day for exercise. Many people read in the great books 15 minutes each night before retiring. In this way, over time, they eventually read dozens of the best books ever written.

The key to the success of this method of working in specific time segments is for you to plan your day in advance and specifically schedule a fixed time period for a particular activity or task.

You make work appointments with yourself and then discipline yourself to keep them. You set aside thirty, sixty and ninety minute time segments that you use to work on and complete important tasks.

Create Preplanned Periods
Many highly productive people schedule specific activities in preplanned time slots all day long. These people build their work lives around accomplishing key tasks one at a time. As a result, they become more and more productive and eventually produce two times, three times and five times as much as the average person.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, organize each day to create large chunks of time you can use for key task completion.

Second, make a written appointment with yourself to work on a key task at a specific time.

Practice Creative Procrastination

Another article by Brian Tracy

 

 

 

Creative procrastination
Creative procrastination is one of the most effective of all personal performance techniques. It can change your life. The fact is that you can’t do everything that you have to do. You have to procrastinate on something. Therefore, procrastinate on small tasks. Everyone procrastinates. The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on.

Priorities versus Posteriorities
To set proper priorities, you must set posteriorities as well. A priority is something that you do more of and sooner, while a postieriority is something that you do less of and later, if at all. One of the most powerful of all words in time management in the word no! Say it politely. Say it clearly so that there are no misunderstandings. Say it regularly as a normal part of your time management vocabulary. For you to do something new, you must complete or stop doing something old.

Procrastinate on Purpose
Most people engage in unconscious procrastination. They procrastinate without thinking about it. As a result, they procrastinate on the big, valuable, important tasks that can have significant long-term consequences in their lives and careers. You must avoid this common tendency at all costs. Your job is to deliberately procrastinate on tasks that are of low value so that you have more time for tasks that can make a big difference in your life and work.

Set Posteriorities on Time-Consuming Activities
Continually review your life and work to find time- consuming tasks and activities that you can abandon. Cut down on television watching and instead spend the time with your family, read, exercise, or do something else that enhances the quality of your life. Look at your work activities and identify the tasks that you could delegate or eliminate to free up more time for the work that really counts.

Begin Today
Begin today to practice creative procrastination practices that will free up more time for the more important things in life. Set posteriorities wherever and whenever you can. This decision alone can enable you to get your time and your life under control.

Action Exercise
Examine each of your personal and work activities and evaluate it based on your current situation. Select at least one activity to abandon immediately or at least deliberately put off until your more important goals have been achieved.