The Practice of Being Effective in a Fast-Paced World
When I work with teams on improving performance, there comes a point where in order to get to the next level of breakthrough, we need to look at how individual habits impact the collective team.
I’ve noticed that some of us (some of the time) engage in life without clarity on the intention or impact we are out to create for ourselves or others. We may have a high-level idea of wanting to make a difference, but aren’t always crystal on the impact of RIGHT NOW or NEXT HOUR.
Instead of beginning with the end in mind, many of us live from this mindset of being productive. That’s how we often talk about our day:
I got this done today
I saw this many patients today
I was in meetings all day
Most of us focus on what we do instead of what we create and that can have a consequence on our performance.
We can think of productivity as measured by quantity against capacity-- “I was able to get this much done in this amount of time.”
While effectivity as measured by value against effort-- “I had this much impact (produced this much result) in this amount of time”
The paradox is that you can be very productive without being effective at all!
So how do we shift our thinking?
“Make sure every day you do what matters most.
When you know what matters most, everything makes sense.
When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense.”
- Gary Keller
We tend to start our week or our day WITHOUT a clear set of goals or intentions, driven more by appointments and tasks. Notice that most of our habits are anchored in language, and most of us think about & plan for what we need to do, and don’t frame what we need to accomplish (the result of what we do).
How many of you sleep with your phone just an arms length away from you?
How many of you look at your phone as one of the first things you do in the morning?
I bet if I looked at your calendar, I wouldn't be able to see what you were trying to accomplish today. . . I’d probably see what you need to do. . appointments and time blocks.
I want to offer a way of framing your day based on purpose and accomplishment.
Statements of Accomplishment
Accomplishment statements are a break from the productivity-based "to do" mindset. They force us to come from intention and begin with the end in mind. Writing accomplishment statements in your calendar or to-do list is simple, but takes practice. Effective accomplishment statements:
Are stated from the end of the outcome looking back. (“I have…” or “we have…”).
Are stated as something you, or you & others have accomplished.
Creates a vivid, positive image of the future.
Makes you the author of your future (rather than a victim of it).
Requires you to consider what is needed to be successful.
Has you own the result even before you take the action.
Think about your calendar. Which sounds more interesting?
"Clinical Practice Meeting" or "We created a cutting edge new practice that will empower our community"
"Jeff & Blake 1:1" or "We aligned on inspiring quarterly goals"
The first step is assessing if we’re doing the right things and coming from a place of creating value in the world. You can start by asking yourself 3 questions:
Am I clear on what I need to accomplish (vs do) this week?
Are this week's accomplishments moving me/my team closer to a greater long-term goal?
What are the most important things I need to accomplish today?
Take one step. Start with 1 appointment/task on your calendar or to-do list that is NOT written as an accomplishment. Re-frame it based on the impact/result you intend to create.
Goals are awesome because they give us something to strive for. . we reach for them.
Purpose is different. Purpose is a place we come FROM… it drives our intentions.
The more we can build routines to live purposeful lives, the more power we have over our time and our level of fulfillment.