Track and Field: How to Stay on Track

I don’t really like to run. It hurts and I get a little bored. But add some competition to the effort and I am engaged. This is the reason why I loved being on the track team but still loathed running. Being on a team meant I was competing as an individual and a team. My mission was to run faster and jump higher. To accomplish these goals, you have to have a strong sense of self discipline to stay on track and improve. Being a star at work is no different and now more than ever, we are expected to run faster and jump when duty calls. It’s best to stay ahead of yourself so when you fall behind, you can quickly catch up. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track and win with your team:

What motivates you? Most people start off their day easing into their routine. This is the first step to getting off track. For example, you can look busy at your desk by looking at your computer screen but catching up on the overnight Facebook news feed is not going to get you to the finish line for your day. You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s three hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, browsed the trending topics on Twitter, read your RSS feeds, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia, vanity googled yourself, cyber-stalked your ex, looked at all your high-school crushes’ Facebook photos, watered your plants on Farmville, and lost a week’s pay playing online poker.

Tomorrow, I dare you to mix up your routine and start your day with a mind charging activity that will motivate you to dig in. Go directly to your to do list and do not pass through Facebook, Twitter, or junk mail! In fact, many overachievers spend the first hour of their day working on tasks that accomplish their goals THEN they check email. Think about how much you can get done in that first hour of the day if you were not thinking about the ten things that dropped in your lap. There will be time to get those items done but if you jump into them now, it just may consume your entire day and you never got to the work that truly helps you meet your goals.

I have expanded my world of speaking to include building apartment communities. Many of you know, this was always my dream. I had no idea how many meetings are needed to build a great apartment community. There are days when I am rolling from one meeting to the next and it is vitally important to make sure this time is productive and concise. This is why I believe in agendas. Today when someone says you have an agenda they may not be flattering you! But in my world, it means you are organized and prepared. Two essential actions needed to stay on track. I learned years ago, if you have a meeting with certain departments at the Sears headquarters, you would be meeting in a room with no chairs, just pub tables (sadly there is not a dirty martini in sight) to lean on and take notes. The idea was that you will be more productive if you are standing versus sitting. At Chrysler Technology Center meeting rooms have timers for the lights and the maximum time is 30 min. When time is up the lights go dim. This is your reminder to wrap it up. We have to meet or our businesses would fail because nothing changed, make those meetings powerful.

I like outlook because I can set up appointments with myself. When there is something I have been procrastinating about I set up a meeting with myself to get it done. It is a reminder that the work needs to be done but the appointment takes some pressure off of me knowing that I have scheduled time approaching.

There are many of us that have to put diversions in our path because we simply do not have the discipline to stay on track. Look for tools that will set you up for success. StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day. We have parental controls for our kids, so it is okay to have professional controls for you!

Now, Run Forrest RUN!