Professional Productivity Secrets
by Eric Albertson
Someone once said that you could tell the difference between professionals and amateurs in any field by looking at the goals, the habits, the techniques, and the tools they use.
A pro has hard, tight, measurable goals that so invigorate them that action is a natural by-product. They look at those goals two or more times a day and visualize their successful realization. Amateurs usually don’t have written goals. They have excuses.
Pros carefully build new habits that let things happen automatically, so their minds are free to focus on what matters. Amateurs are often casual about habits and beg off with, “That’s just the way I am,” while they struggle with the chaos their poor habits bring every day.
A pro knows the advantage of good tools. The amateur tries to save $100, only to create a drag on productivity for years. In my opinion, good tools are a clear-cut mark of a productive professional.
Case in point: You want your doctor to use the best tool for the job when your health is at stake. And you want your plumber to use the right tool so the job gets done right and fast. If you buy all that, then why would you limp along with mediocre tools in your business?
Check this out for an example of a tool I have used with delight for years: http://www.egrabber.com. This is one excellent example of a useful tool. This application allows you to instantly pop target contact information into most contact management systems with two clicks of your mouse. No re-typing; perfect accuracy; very fast.
Also consider visiting www.mindjet.com for an application called MindMapper. This is my tool for clear thinking, writing, and creating proposals. Jeff Mayer loved this one.
If you use Microsoft Outlook, you might find David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” Outlook Add-In to be as helpful as I have. http://gtdsupport.netcentrics.com/
Finally, I use three 19-inch ViewSonic, flat panel monitors on my desk. The productivity increase is astonishing. Google on one screen, Outlook on another and Word on the third. The return on investment is fast and the productivity is amazing. While this may sound extravagant initially, if productivity is the key to the future you want, you might find this to be a no-brainer.
Many of you have heard the stories I tell about the impact of good proposals, or the win-win of value-based fees. These techniques come from books by Alan Weiss, and have made me many thousands of dollars beyond the cost of the books.
I currently have a book in process on how to successfully implement these techniques. If you want to be notified when the book is ready, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word VALUE in the subject line.
Much to my wife’s dismay, I buy a new book or e-book every week. Each one makes me a little more efficient, effective, productive, richer or happier. With the norm being “money back guarantee,” your risk is small and your upside huge. Book shelves, however, could be a problem.
Each new technique I put to use usually puts money in my pocket far in excess of its cost and provides satisfaction for many years. Professionals acquire new techniques regularly, through reading. Amateurs watch TV.
So what to do?
Professionals get paid in money and satisfaction for results. Amateurs get paid in fun. Nothing wrong with either camp. I work with people who want all three: rapidly-increasing financial results, deep satisfaction and lots of fun.
Possible Action Step: Do a quick self-evaluation on each element: goals, habits, tools and techniques. Is there something possibly missing in your current tool kit that could move you closer to being a professional? Jot one down in each category and see if taking action has a worthwhile return on investment for you.
The Acid Test: If you keep doing what you have been doing, isn’t it likely that you will keep getting what you have been getting? If you like the status quo, you’re good. If you don’t, the first place to look, in my opinion, is at your goals, habits, techniques and tools.
So are you a pro or an amateur? Double-check those goals, habits, techniques and tools and get about the business of the life you really want. The choice is yours, and the clock on this life is ticking away.
Reprinted with permission from Eric Albertson's SucceedingInBusiness.com Newsletter. (Copyright, 1998-2006, Eric Albertson, SucceedingInBusiness.com.)
About Eric Albertson
Eric Albertson helps business owners, corporate executives and sales professionals, set their priorities, get focused, and achieve their goals; so they can grow their business, get ahead in life, and live their dream.
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