Time Management

According to CPE Link instructor and productivity expert, Laura Stack, “Success will come to those who can accomplish more in less time and consistently perform at their productive best.”

Let’s see how you rate. The more of the following statements that ring “true” for you, the more productive you probably are!

• I know exactly why I work hard and what I’m trying to achieve.
• I create systems to perform tasks more efficiently, so I can leave the office on time.
• I regularly rest and recharge my batteries, so I can be productive and creative when I return to work.
• I accomplish the day’s most profitable and valuable tasks
• I refuse requests when appropriate; I know how to say no graciously.
• I push tasks down to the lowest level of responsibility, trusting others to do their jobs.
• I weigh the results of attending each meeting against the alternative results I could produce instead.
• I do not live in my email inbox and stay focused on my work.
• I know I can only focus on a few items at a time, so I limit my multi-tasking in order to maximize my productivity.
• I know technology and my handheld are tools to help me be more productive—no addiction here.
• My email is organized, and my inbox is regularly emptied.
• I keep careful track of my contacts and my communications with them; I can tell you what was said in a meeting a year ago.
• When I have all the information I need to proceed, I make decisions quickly.
• I understand the difference between being busy and being productive: results.
• I keep an eye on my stress level, realizing it would be a mistake to ignore my emotional health.
• Even when a task is monumental, I keep working at it until I whittle it down to size.
• I am a positive person, even in negative circumstances.

Didn’t rate well? Get some guidance from Laura Stack and launch into 2012 at your productive best!

Need a last minute Halloween costume? How about going as a victim of a productivity-sapping, opportunity-killer of a meeting. All you need is a glassy-eyed stare. Or perhaps the panicked look of someone who desperately needs to make up for wasted time and actually get something accomplished.

“Today’s firm administrators, staff, and accountants spend so much time attending meetings, but few know how to plan and run them,” says CPE Link instructor (and productivity maven) Laura Stack. “Most meetings frustrate employees because agendas aren’t distributed, objectives aren’t defined, time runs over, and no decisions are made.”

Sound familiar? An estimated 25 million meetings take place every working day in the United States alone. So you’ve probably been a victim many times — and maybe even a perpetrator. You can mend your ways, says Stack. Here’s one of her tips: “Meetings should only be used for issues requiring dialogue, decisions, or team building, not merely for informational issues.” For meetings that are absolutely necessary, Stack advises establishing a code of conduct for your department or organization.

If you were writing the meeting code for your firm, what would you include?

Then you can be the happy Ghost of Meetings Future for next Halloween.