What made you successful yesterday won’t make you successful tomorrow. I have a Ph.D. You know what BS stands for. MS is ‘More of the Same’, and Ph.D. is ‘Piled Higher and Deeper’. Don’t assume I diminish my formal education, I don’t. But I use a small percentage of what I learned in 14 years of post-secondary education. Why? Because my professional goals, the world, and I change rapidly. Or maybe it’s just Monday and my head isn’t in the game yet.
My education isn’t in the tech world. If MY world changes that much, your world moves at warp speed. How fast would you be out of a job if you don’t learn anything new in a year, 2 years, or *gasp* 5 years? You’re gone! Your 13-year-old brother will have your job.
That’s why I’m a leadership coach. That’s why Linux Academy exists. We want to help you learn and grow. We want to invest in you. Your success is our success. These represent our core values.
But we can’t do everything for you. You must make the investment on your end. Think of that word: investment. The time commitment you make now will yield great dividends in your future, just like saving for retirement or brushing your teeth. (We have more mobile devices per person than toothbrushes…and I want to assume the best in you!)
So, dive into learning! Never stop growing! I’m guessing you already buy into those goals. However, real-world pressures work against you. You’d take every class possible if you had the time. You’d get every certification if you had the time. You’d also dethrone Elon Musk, bungee jump, and beat Ninja in a game of Fortnite.
Alas, there are only 24 hours in each day. You can’t manage time. It keeps ticking no matter what you’re doing. But you can manage your choices. How would you like to have the equivalent of a 25-hour day? Believe it or not, it’s not that hard to accomplish. All you have to do is recover 4 minutes of every waking hour.
Here are 11 quick tips for you:
- Stop multi-tasking. It’s a myth. No one can focus adequately on two overlapping tasks that require executive attention from your brain. Instead, give your full attention to one thing at a time.
- Switch quickly between tasks. Shorten your warm-up time as you switch.
- Delegate. If you’re in management, it’s particularly important for you to distribute the workload, and that includes getting some things off your plate.
- Distinguish what is good from what is great. You must say “no” to a multitude of good things to focus on what truly brings you success. Live intentionally. (If learning makes you ultimately successful, make learning a priority.)
- Block off uninterrupted time. Look for 30-90 minutes where you can focus on one great thing.
- Disconnect from technology to eliminate distractions. There! I said it! You’ll survive for 30-90 minutes. Just make sure your boss buys into this. It’s helpful to have an emergency plan if he/she really needs you.
- Take breaks. You can actually focus on one thing for too long. Your work slows down. Go get a cup of coffee, use the restroom, or stand up and stretch. You’ll be sharper when you return, and you’ll get things done more quickly with better quality.
- Keep a list of things you can do quickly (including segments of bigger projects you can work on incrementally). Use these as fillers when you have a spare moment in between things.
- Take care of yourself by eating, sleeping, and exercising regularly.
- Get organized! Know where things are and when you need to be at specific places. Write things down and keep a to-do list.
- Use your best time of day for your most important work. Negotiate to protect those hours!