It is so difficult to be proactive when most of the default settings in Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes and other productivity tools reinforce and reward reactive behaviours. This is unfortunate because, as proactive people, we want to work smarter with Outlook, Notes or whatever tools we have in front of us. 

 This demands that we must move away from the Pavlovian stimuli   of alarms, alerts and flags as important elements in our decision making, no matter how appealing and ‘helpful’ they may appear on the surface.  This, then, means that we have to reinforce and reward our proactive behaviours of defining purpose, planning, focusing, discerning and doing what we decided to do – even when the inbox, the voicemail, the IM, the ‘social media’ channels are all pulling us in another direction.

It is almost as though, for many good, hard-working people, their own workload management skills are being assaulted and eroded by the Urgency Addiction amplified by technology. Not only that, but the time honoured principles and proven workload management processes, of which they are intellectually aware, appear to be an idealised Nirvana which slips further and further away from their reality as the next deadline approaches.

Add to this the fact that most hard working people are not clinically insane and do actually achieve results within this urgent, instant, reactive environment – and the fact that their behaviours (even though they know intellectually that they are not at best practice proactive level) have served them well when they were last under the cosh at work; it is little wonder that changing workload management habits can be difficult. 

This is why, in all our training and support programmes we incorporate as much best practice use of appropriate technology as possible – without the need to purchase or configure add-ins and bolt-ons; and why we ALWAYS provide post training support. 

In my experience this is the only way to get people to permanently change the habits of a working lifetime, habits that helped them in their last crisis, even though they were stress inducing!

“Before my training course with Richard, I thought it wouldn’t help me as much as it helped some of my colleagues. I was wrong. Following the course, I have started to make the small, easy changes to the way I work. I’m getting home earlier in the evenings and I can ‘switch off’ at night and at the weekends, which is great. I feel that I’m on top of my workload and, for the first time since I started my career, there is just about enough time in the day.” Stuart McCaul June 10, 2010

 If you are looking for a proven approach to more productive workload and results management for your team, your company or yourself, just ask us here and we will deliver results worth talking about.