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The Achilles Heel in Your Productivity System?

Climbers know that the difference between success and failure is often a small crevice or an opening for a handhold.  A nudge here.  A pull there.  They are keenly aware of how far they can push themselves before going "too far".

Great leaders are similar, knowing how to build on their strengths. They don't stress over their weaknesses and try to get crystal clear about their areas of opportunity.

As Marcus Buckingham says, "By far the most effective way to turn fear into confidence is to be clear — to define the future in such vivid terms that we can see where we are headed. Clarity is the antidote to anxiety, and therefore clarity is the preoccupation of the effective leader. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear."

The leaders I know are working hard on improvement. They are mindful of their calendar and take time management very, very seriously. A friend of mine described himself as "relentless" when it comes to carving out time for meetings and events. Wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley...just saying.

Back to the point- are you aware of the weaknesses in your system? After all, if all you do is focus on your strengths, you might not see the blind side which, if left unattended, could bring the whole thing down.

Here are five areas (and questions) that can sidetrack even the most productive person:

1. The Weekly Review: are you taking time each Sunday to review your week and get "clear and clean" for the week ahead?
2. Meeting Notes: are you taking 15-30 minutes after each meeting to process your notes into actionable items?
3. Ineffective Meetings: are you allowing your schedule to be sidetracked by wasteful meetings and agenda-less talk sessions?
4. Email Mayhem: are you checking email more than 3x per day? Has it been weeks (months?) since your inbox was at zero?
5. Leaving on Time: are you allowing yourself to linger, putter and putz at work when your family is missing you at home?

Which achilles heel is slowing you down? (hint: #2 is tops on my list!)

The One Thing a Real Leader Must Do

Saying No: the Brave Art of Calendar Management