Create your own chaos!

If that?s what makes you productive

My first leadership role in a corporate environment was in a contact centre. From the minute the phone lines opened in the morning, through to closing off in the evening, it was manic. If I wasn?t really disciplined at prioritising my work I could spend the whole day fighting fires and have zero time to work on improving the business. It was a tough learning curve but I did get better at managing my time, empowering my people and not getting distracted by things that weren?t going to benefit anyone (like sorting emails into folders and colour coding staff files). It was a fantastic environment for a first-time leader!

Later, I stepped into a different leadership role, this time it was in a non-customer-facing support area. The change of pace was huge and completely the opposite to what I was used to. Looking at the role from the outside I was excited by the idea of having more time to work on the important tasks. The reality, when I got into the role, was I struggled to get anything done. The pace was so much slower, I would delay working on tasks or I?d take longer than what was needed, so I didn?t run out of work. I was also that annoying person who booked meetings instead of sending emails or making a quick phone call and then I?d BAMFAM (book-a-meeting-from-a-meeting). It was awful! I?d never felt so unproductive. It reminded me of the time I took a week off work to catch up on all these personal errands I?d been putting off because I could never find the time. The week came and went and I did nothing but fluff around the house and watch too much television ? the errands still didn?t find the time to be done ? turns out they weren?t that important.

What I realised was working under pressure in a fast-paced environment was how I worked best. And, I knew that I was in control of my own workload, so?I decided to create my own CHAOS! And, it worked a treat. The more I took on, deadlines I committed to, the more productive I became and the more I achieved.

So, if you?re feeling unproductive in your role here?s a few things you could do to create your own chaos:

  1. Fill up your calendar ? identify all the important tasks you need to complete and allocate them time (just enough) in your calendar.
  2. Maximise your time ? consider adopting the Pomodoro technique which uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
  3. Set deadlines ? and communicate them with key stakeholders ? those you don?t want to let down or disappoint.
  4. Create variety – make sure there?s variety between tasks so that you don?t become fatigued and allow distraction to set in. If you?re an extrovert you might like to schedule meetings throughout the day to break up the blocks of thinking/designing/planning time.
  5. Network! – Spend time with frontline teams, business partners or in the community to get to know them better and improve the perception you have of them.

Need someone to hold you accountable for your deadlines? Give me a call.

Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating efficient and sustainable team environments through adaptable leadership.?She is a Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Mentor and Speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.

If you?d like to know more about her latest program on bringing teams together please drop her an email

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