Being in the age of speed means we are all moving fast and having to shift attention continually. It is hard to execute with depth when we lack clarity. The feeling of being overwhelmed is common. The usual problem is that we are trying to act without addressing what has our attention, even if it is subconscious. The things which are pulling at you – voicemails, scraps of paper, clutter, email, task lists – all need to be addressed. When you are feeling overwhelmed, get clarity first before driving to action. You need your mind fully engaged to execute in the age of speed.
The best thing to do first is delete, trash and eliminate first. Simplify first so you can execute. This accounts for the majority of unaddressed items in your workspace both physically and virtually.
Next, use systems to delegate or deliver. If your organization does not have a good system, then be the change agent to drive the collaborative systems to succeed. You will be chasing your tail without such a system to move information quickly and conveniently. Deliver by placing a concrete next step in your task system(s).
You cannot get perspective without control. It is hard to predict the urgencies that will happen next week, much less tomorrow. Anticipate they will come and use mental judo on your work to execute at a high level. Typically, a lack of clarity translates into a lack of productivity. This is usually the root of missed opportunities. Don’t get bogged down. Stay at light speed by aligning your personal processes. You can read my ebook on keeping a ZeroInbox here for more as well.