When I moved into a senior leadership position many years ago, the company I worked for at the time hired an executive coach to facilitate my transition from a support role to a revenue-generating senior management role. I’ll never forget the day she arrived in Southern California. She spent two full days going through my office, appointments, and daily routines, reviewing everything I touched! The lessons I learned will be with me forever, and I’ve shared them with many leaders along the way.
Here are a few tips to get you centered during this time of “spring cleaning”:
1. Planning – It’s important to begin your day with quiet time to think. I meditate one hour daily. This keeps me centered on what’s most important, and it diminishes the chance of allowing the “business” of the day to interfere with my decision-making.
2. E-mails – Most people begin their day by reading e-mails. This is a mistake, as you get distracted by what seems urgent and important before even planning your day. Schedule e-mail time at a minimum of twice per day (once 30 minutes after you arrive and once before leaving the office works best).
3. Appointments – Give yourself R&R time (time to “Reflect and React”) before and after each appointment, otherwise you’ll find yourself trying to catch up with no end in sight. Include appointments with yourself for returning phone calls twice daily.
4. Weekly One-on-ones – Although many people say they “talk” to their employees all the time, it’s important to set aside a specific weekly time to review what has transpired. This is their time – a time when they get your undivided attention for whatever is going on in their world. This is a great opportunity to show you care!
5. Daily Touch Points – I use these with new associates. Just 10 minutes is all it takes (and I time these religiously). The associate should be ready to answer the following three simple questions first thing in the morning:
a. What did you accomplish yesterday?
b. What’s on your agenda for today?
c. What support would you like from me?
NOTE: Don’t allow this to exceed 10 minutes. This helps with time management on your associate’s part, and creates urgency to focus on what matters most. Trust me, it works!
6. Leave on Time – Balance is important. I set a timer to leave the office promptly every day, which is a daily reminder that I also matter.
7. Gratitude – Before heading home, take inventory of who you made a difference for that day. This helps keep you grounded on the “why” behind your job/career. For me, it’s usually an associate or client, which sends me home with a sense of purpose.
By staying focused on what’s truly most important, your day will be more productive and your attitude will improve significantly, making it a better environment for those around you.
Dr. Betty Uribe is Executive Vice President of California Bank & Trust
© Copyright by Dr. Betty Uribe