Tag Archive: BSOs


Busy Work & BSOs


Laptop CloseupThere’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. Every day people are busy with irrelevant things. Things that don’t directly line up with their big picture. Sometimes the busy work comes into play because you’d rather procrastinate than do the task at hand. The things that keep you busy and unproductive are the unnecessary meetings and those without an agenda. The trivial stuff, the things that seem more pleasant to do and some email and phone calls all fall into this category. These are the things that keep you from the things that you really should be giving your time to.

Then there are those time sucking BSOs (Bright shiny objects) that are notorious for leading you astray every day, all day. You know how it is…you’re working on something and then you get a thought about something else that needs to be done, or an awesome idea that you just have to bring to life and you take that detour. You follow the thought or that idea and before you know it an hour or more has gone by and you haven’t done a thing when it comes to the task you originally started with. Ugh!

So how do you bust the busy work and the BSOs? For starters, eliminate the busy work by getting focused on your priorities. Determine what they are based on your values and the things that will help you manifest what you’re up to. Let go of the rest by delegating it or deleting it altogether. The key here is to move away from the things that don’t matter by creating a personalized productivity system that will get you through your days. Create new habits like regular planning that will help you move away from putting out fires and constantly dealing with crises. I mean, who wants to put up with that?

If you’re guilty of letting those BSOs lead you in an entirely different direction, grab a note book or pad of paper that you can keep on your desk or work table. Make sure it’s portable so it can go with you on those days you work from your local coffee shop. The next time a BSO strikes, resist chasing it down and jot it down instead. Take a quick moment to write down the thoughts you’re having or the other things that come to mind that have to be done. Do the same with the ideas that come to you which should only take you a quick minute or two. Then cross of the items you’ve transferred and get back to what you were doing. At the end of each day, or at least a few times a week go to your notes and pull the additional to-do items from your notes and into a fitting spot in your calendar or to-do list. Take those great ideas and add blocks of time to work on them and bring them to life. Each time you come back to your notebook you’ll be able to tell where to start so you won’t lose anything and you’ll maintain your focus which will help you get things done.

 


Unproductive Road SignIt’s easy to be caught up in the “norm” and go through your days winging it when it comes to getting things done. There are a few things that are clear indicators that you need help getting it together so you can get it done. I’m going to share five with you here.

  • The first sign is you’re confused about what to work on or to do and when. If you’re finding yourself challenged when it comes to knowing which of the many things on your plate to focus on, your productivity is impaired. When this is the experience you’re having, you find yourself here on a regular basis and waste a lot of time trying to figure out what to do. Here it’s about learning how to prioritize then sticking to those priorities.
  • The second sign is continually putting things off. How many things are you procrastinating on right now? If you don’t know, make a list of all the things that you keep putting off then ask yourself why you think you keep pushing back the time to get it done. The real reason is going to be much deeper and you have to do some digging to find it, but this is the first step.
  • Sign number three…you’re easily sidetracked and chase the BSOs (bright shiny objects). You start out working on something and then something else pops into your mind. Something that you forgot about, maybe something that’s due soon or a new idea. Instead of continuing to work on the task at hand you follow that thought, and for a long time, totally forgetting about what you were doing. Later you remember what you abandoned or worse, you don’t realize what you’ve done until you go to close your laptop or clean your desk at the end of the day.
  • The fourth sign is a disorganized office or forever messy desk. You can’t find anything and don’t have the space to work and that definitely wastes your time. It also creates a heavy energy in the space that doesn’t make it easy to get things done. That messy desk isn’t helping you either. I’m not talking about your desk being in disarray while you’re working, I’m talking about a desk with paper and other items that seem to have made your desk a permanent home.
  • The final sign is that you run out of day before you run out of things to do. You’re consumed by all that there is to do and it’s got control. You dive in and before you know it, it’s time for that meeting, or worse yet, the day is over, and it’s the pattern you fall into every day. So then it becomes necessary to add some extra hours to your work day just so you can get it all done, which has your personal and family life suffer. It’s a vicious cycle. One that you’ve got to bring to an end. It is possible to get it all done and have a life too.

 


ShiftHere’s yet another way to make your Monday productive. Shift from the routine stuff. Take a look at what you usually do during the course of the week. As you think about that, and start a list making note of the things that you usually get distracted by. What things usually have you veering off course? Do you stop to chase the BSOs (Bright shiny objects)?

Then look at the habits you practice, whether they support you or not. Don’t look at your habits as “good” or “bad”, they’re just habits. Then take a look at the things that typically keep you from starting off running at the beginning of the week. One thing that I see often with clients is that they start off checking their email, which is a bad move.

Once you have each of those lists, go back through them and on the right side of the page across from the distractions, non supportive habits and the things that hold up your fast start, write what you will do instead. As you start your week, pull out the list and look at the alternative things you created and get them into your Monday mix. If you keep it up, these new things can help you create an entirely new routine that keeps you more productive. It makes for a great way to start your week!

 

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