Archive: November, 2016

Post from Transformation Tom™-MANAGING YOUR EMAIL: Chapter from “Time Management Manifesto”

Posted by tomdowd - November 29, 2016 - News
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MANAGING YOUR EMAIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to bizcommunity.com, it was estimated that 294
billion emails are sent each day, with about seventy-five
percent considered spam, per estimates by the Radicati
Group (2010). Getting through the seventy-five percent, plus the twenty-
five percent you need for actual work, takes up valuable time. Now,
imagine that every time you receive a new message, a bell sounds or a
preview notice of incoming mail comes into view. When that happens,
it grabs your attention and starts to pull you toward multitasking. We
live in a very reactive work environment now. Sending and receiving
emails has made us slaves to this form of communication, and keeps us
leashed to whatever device gets us that information. Take back control
and be proactive in dealing with ancillary email impacts. Let’s start to
implement concrete email strategies.

• Block off and dedicate time to manage your email. Whether
you do it in the morning, before lunch, late afternoon, or all of
the above, you should have dedicated time for it and not take
them on one at a time, throughout the day.
• Ignore new messages. Rather than behaving like Pavlov’s dog
and responding to every bell that rings telling you that “You
have mail,” become proactive and take control of when you
choose to spend time reading email.
• Deal with it one time. Remember to touch an email once. Take
action on the emails such as moving it to another location or
scheduling a meeting or a phone call, but don’t read it and keep
it there. This causes you to read it multiple times.
• Resist the immediate temptation to grab your smart phone.
Don’t read emails immediately when you wake up. This will
create an instant heavy workload and frustrated state of mind.
Give yourself a chance to adjust to your day prior to checking
your email.
• Turn off the feature that confirms you have a new email or
provides a preview; you don’t want the distraction of knowing
that an email came in. If you’re blocking off time and have set
expectations with those you work with, you don’t need these
features.
• Avoid unnecessary ‘thank you’ emails. They often create an
avalanche of somewhat meaningless emails that go back and
forth. If it is truly worthy, call or write a heartfelt note. In
my first six months at a new job, I had over thirteen hundred
emails saying some version of thank you. There were some that
were heartfelt, but there were others that were less sincere and
simply read “thx.” The emails caught my attention and forced
me to stop what I was doing to delete them.
• Simplify your organization. I recommend against setting up
auto-filtering to organize emails by categories, senders, etc. It
creates the need to look in multiple places when researching or
looking for something. You should do your organizing through
file management, since you get information from many sources,
not just email. Build strong online file management systems to
assist in searching for pertinent material.

Taking a proactive, methodical, and strategic approach to email
management will allow you to take back your day and become a more
productive professional.

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

 

 

 

 

Post from Transformation Tom™- Evaluate Your Finite Time: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - November 22, 2016 - News
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Evaluate Your Finite Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to discussions with several career centers, consultants, and
recruiters, I’ve heard that networking directly contributed to hiring
by as much as 85 percent. I believe it. Are you spending the majority of
your time putting in as many applications as possible, roaming websites,
or establishing networking sessions? Are you spending the right amount
of time with the right people? I want to continue to emphasize the need
to keep all options open, but it’s also important to evaluate your time and
prioritize how you choose to spend it.

I was invited to a local networking group about an hour away—in
Maine, everything is considered local based on how spread out the state is. I
strongly considered going until I compared the amount of time to get there
and aligned the types of business people who would be there compared to
my goals. Most of the attendees would be owners of small businesses. As
much as I am a supporter of small business, my immediate goals would
have been sacrificed each week for several hours to attend. I couldn’t afford
to give up prime contact hours. I don’t want to contradict my emphasis on
casting a broad net, but we can only throw it so far when there are only
twenty-four hours in a day. I chose to reprioritize my time around these
prime hours. There are a growing number of professional groups that are
phenomenal in getting people together to share stories and provide opportunities.
This particular one didn’t work out for me, but I was able to attend
several others at libraries and career centers that were productive for me as
one-time shots. It’s important to regularly evaluate whether something is
moving you forward toward your goals. The value may change over time, as
well, so be sure to reevaluate as time goes on.

 

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

Post from Transformation Tom™-TAKING TIME TO ASSESS STRATEGIES: Chapter from “Time Management Manifesto”

Posted by tomdowd - November 15, 2016 - News
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TAKING TIME TO ASSESS STRATEGIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a peer of mine whom I would often call and have to
leave messages. She would never return my calls. As soon as
I sent her an instant message, she was prompt with her communication
and we were always able to get things done. By tailoring
our communication styles to her preferences, we were both more efficient.

Who you’re communicating with, what you’re communicating,
and how you’re communicating it will positively or negatively impact
your time. Confidence, influencing others, persuasion skills, setting
clear expectations, being clear and concise—all are tied to effective
communication and time management. All are a must when it comes
to being productive, not to mention building stronger relationships.
If you sit in meetings that have consistently been a waste of time,
are you confident enough to offer solutions to make them more
effective, or strong enough to say they should be held less frequently,
or even stopped altogether? Whether it is speaking up during the
meeting or after it to let the host know, communication does drive
time management.

How effective are your listening skills? Are you truly paying
attention and listening to people? Think back to the number of times
when questions had to unnecessarily be addressed again because
one person wasn’t listening? Listening is another key component of
communication and, again, time management.

I can’t state it enough: communication is an extremely important
facet of effective time management. Assess your communication
strategies, then go out and commit to and share best practices around
communication and time management. Take time to:

• Understand communication preferences for those you work
with the most. If you don’t know, then ask.
• Use the right channel based on priority. Is an email and instant
message (IM) the right channel based on the urgency or
expected actions? Don’t send an email to deal with fire drills
needing immediate attention—you can’t expect everyone to be
on email at all times of the day. You might send an instant
message to get someone’s attention, but you want to avoid
ping-ponging the message back and forth when details can be
discussed quickly on the phone.
• Be conscientious of the audience when sending emails. Give
summaries and highpoints, if necessary, and details to only
those who really need them. It saves you time in writing and
other people’s time in reading. Also, be concise by not writing
the email version of War and Peace to ask a simple question.
• Know who needs and wants to know. Don’t reply to everyone
on the email distribution (reply all) unless it is truly needed
and impacts all—it cuts down on potential unnecessary email
return responses.

Communication plays an important role when establishing
priorities and making all of us conscientious about being productive
and not wasting time. Looking at how you’ve chosen to communicate
in the past and establishing new reliable strategies will enhance your
efficiency.

 

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

Post from Transformation Tom™- Know Your Communication and Leadership Capabilities: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - November 8, 2016 - News
0

Know Your Communication and Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the August 2013 article “When Clubs Mean Business”
by Jennifer L. Blanck in Toastmaster Magazine, “Communication
and leadership skills ranked at the top of employers’ list of attributes desired
in new hires, in both 2011 and 2012 Corporate Recruiters Survey.”
This is consistent with many other studies that show the importance of
communicating, influencing, and inspiring. Go back and read some of
your past performance appraisals and talk with past managers, friends,
and colleagues, to learn which specific skills you have and which ones you
need to refine. Strong communication and leadership skills are a requirement
to not only land most jobs, but to succeed in them. When you can
prove that you can do both, companies will be willing to pay for these
skills.

“Why should we hire you?” This standard question often throws off
too many people. Simply saying that you have these skills out loud won’t
get you very far. Many people already know the importance of these skills
and will say, “I’m a great communicator and leader.” However, what is
that person really saying? It’s hard to tell. When you go down this route,
you must provide tangible examples of both. More importantly, it’s important
to clearly articulate what value you will add to the company. Do
you truly understand your unique value? How can you distinguish yourself?
In addition to the experiences that may help, what is your expertise?

I liked to provide examples of instances when I showed extreme flexibility,
cleaned up some messes, or started up brand new pieces of the
business. I will caution you of the dangers of living in the past only. To be
effective, you should be able to take these past experiences and translate
them into your future—how you will make the new business better. Your
SWOT, multi-generation plan, and more importantly, your differentiating
story, can start to come alive with specific context. That is the value
proposition.

 

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You

Post from Transformation Tom™-COMMITTING YOURSELF: Chapter from “Time Management Manifesto”

Posted by tomdowd - November 1, 2016 - News
0

COMMITTING YOURSELF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever been on a conference call and waited several
minutes after the start time of the meeting to actually begin?
What if each time a person joins late, the host stops
and provides a catch-up summary? Is that fair to people who joined on
time? How about meetings that extend beyond the scheduled end time
with no regard for what anyone else may have scheduled next? I’ve been
in all of the above, in each of these roles: on time, late, host, and guest.
As the host, I finally made a commitment to start the meeting on time
and end on time. Commitment is a critical skill in time management. I
realized I needed to be more committed with several factors of my time
management. By committing myself to building better habits, I found
that others started to practice similar techniques.

Understand your own commitment level. Be fully invested in
improving your time management skills, and be respectful of others’
time, as well. Think of examples in which you must commit and start
to create the right actions and habits. Here are some examples:

• Commit to start and end times you set for yourself. If you said
you would spend an hour on a project, stick to that time. If
you’re not done with a task, set up a new time to complete it.
• The same holds true as the host of a meeting. Start on time
and end on time. In a meeting, you may want to say, “Out of
respect for everyone’s time, we’re going to get started.” It’s not
always easy, but many times we enable the process. With every
new late attendee who joins, we do a quick recap. As much
as we want everyone on the same page, it makes the meeting
inefficient and is disrespectful to those who did join on time.
You can offer to catch them up after the call or have them
read the meeting minutes, but it’s important to try to limit the
constant recaps for the late arrivers.
• As the end of a meeting approaches, you may want to say, “I see
we only have a few minutes remaining. We’ll end the meeting
and cover the rest at the next meeting,” or set up a new time
to finish that works for everyone. Going beyond the end time
has a downstream effect for many. Showing respect for other
people’s calendars builds the right habits for everyone. Be
committed to making it happen.

Stay focused on doing what you set out to do, starting by sticking to
what you allotted for time on your calendar. This will keep you on task,
build a strong time management reputation for you, and ultimately
save time for not only yourself, but others. Looking back at incidents
when you let time drift or found yourself not committing to what you
set out to do will provide you with a good snapshot of what needs to
change and what new habits to establish.

 

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Do you know about Avanoo.com?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time—Don’t Let It Manage You