Top 4 Actions of a Successful Leader

(by Jason Womack – 4/21/2014)

There are 4 things that successful leaders do every day before lunch. No matter what time they get up in the morning or how busy they are with EVERYthing that needs to be done today, You’ll see these people will always do these 4 things.

First, review this list:

  1. Successful leaders make a to-do list for tomorrow; yes, before lunch.
  2. Successful leaders maximize AutoText, Shortcuts and Signatures in their correspondence.
  3. Successful leaders always tag incoming information (physical AND digital) much more effectively.
  4. Successful leaders are aware of, focused on, and use the power of the “30th minute” during meetings.

Next, ask yourself which of the 4 things you’re already doing as a successful leader.

Finally, pick ONE of them to do “better” tomorrow, and track your progress over the day. My anticipation is that by implementing just ONE of these tactics you’ll save between 60-90 minutes tomorrow. Just imagine what you could do with that “extra” time…

1. Make a to do list before noon.

The brain is most active in a “dissonant state.” (Dissonant: unsuitable or unusual in combination.) So, if you identify what’s NOT done early in the day, your mind will unconsciously and objectively be focused on finishing the task you have identified. I prefer to create, update, and clean up my to-do lists early in the day so that I use my brain most effectively.

Imagine for a moment that you make your to-do list later in the afternoon, or even later that night before you go to sleep. What do you do when you care a list of “unfinished business?” You set your brain to task to complete those things. Hardly a way to get ready to rest for the evening!

2. Create at least 3 AutoText/ Shortcuts or Signatures.

As you reply to people (co-workers, managers, employees, family members, friends) via text messaging, mobile email systems and your desktop communication applications, ask yourself if you can use “text replacement’ systems more effectively. Every system has something built in that will recognize short, simple keystrokes and turn those in to longer, more complete blocks of text.

The easiest way I know of to build this is this: “As you’re about to click ‘Send’ on a message, simply ask yourself if you might ever type those words, in that order, every again. If the answer is ‘Yes,’ then you know you could use a text replacement program.”

3. Tag information as it comes in.

As I enter tasks [using Evernote], send myself an email [using Gmail], reply to people [via text messaging or email], or even file paperwork [in my file cabinet in my office] I always tag the content with a few/several/multiple key words. In the digital world (say, for example, Sent Items in email) this makes finding something SO much easier if I’ve added specific, key words to the messaging.

Off to the side of your desk, make a paper-based list of the 20-30 “Nouns” you’re working with/on this month. As you send, receive, and file information related to your projects, simply add one or more of those words to each item. The real power – obviously – comes “later,” when you’re looking for something and you can pull it back based on one of those “other” words you remember.

4. Plan for the 30th minute of meetings.

If you’re attending a 60 minute meeting, set a timer for 30 minutes the moment you start. When the alarm rings, announce to the group, “We have exactly 30 minutes left in this meetings.” You’ll quickly know if you’re “about” halfway done, and what you need to do to get that meeting on track to end on time.

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