Getting your ducks in a row!
In today’s terms, we refer to this as a means of sorting your life out and getting it into some orderly manner. The origins of this statement, however, take us back in time to a few devious theories which I will leave you to decide upon.
- There was the theory of the bowling pins which back in the 1930s were known as “ducks”, and which had to be manually put in line to play the next ball.
- Then there was the Mother Duck and her offspring all in a line to signify an orderly departure or movement. The only problem with this theory is that baby ducks are ducklings or chicks?
- The last is the theory of the shooting gallery at the carnival where you had to shoot little ducks in a row to win a teddy bear.
In today’s terms, when managing your life or your business, there is a very meaningful interpretation of this term and if not appropriately applied, could lead to more than losing your way, your ducklings or winning a teddy bear.
Every day we arrive at our work station with some idea as to what we are going to do, what’s most important and what has the most value. Or do we?
In my work with teams, it has become very evident that we are actually more aligned to habitual behaviour and this behaviour is not always akin to getting your ducks in order.
Check this behaviour out and ask yourself if you or your team don’t fall into this trap now and again?
- Out of bed
- Gym or shower or both
- Breakfast on the run
- Sit in traffic, listen to other people’s opinions of life and politics
- Get irritated with other drivers
- Arrive and straight to coffee machine
- Get to computer
- Straight to emails
- Go to latest email and start working backwards deleting the rubbish and spam
- Go back and start responding to emails
- Check time: it’s 11h00, and we are at behaviour 11.
Beyond Teambuilding pride ourselves in creating events, activities and challenges that push any team past mediocrity, allowing them to express themselves in a way that unleashes a team synergy that is often lying dormant. Our teambuilding is done in two definitive ways; formal and informal. Both have merit and are used to create the specific objectives of your particular team’s needs.
So, what have we just done? Some may argue they have been busy, some responses to emails were really good, and some even slipped a meeting into this process. Sadly, we are creatures of habit, and some of our habits don’t really add value to our life or work.
If we were to reflect on what we do each day, a lot of it is questionable.
We need to periodically STOP and go back and ask the BIG question as to WHY?
- Why am I getting out of bed, have I got something meaningful to do, do I know what it is, or is someone going to tell me what it is later? Getting out of bed sounds easy but people who get out of bed with a purpose do it differently, with gusto and enthusiasm. They cannot wait to get showered and into the next phase.
- The Gym is there because I really do want to live longer, be there for my kids and actually be able to share some of their life actively with them. Or am I there out of conscience as I want to look like someone else?
- Do I see or speak to anyone at breakfast, do I know my daughter is also having breakfast, are we both chatting to a phone?
- I am spending 45 minutes in traffic, do I allow others to impregnate my brain with their politics, their music, their thoughts, or do I plug into my journey, my mentors and my vision? Use the 45 minutes to prepare your mind for combat.
- Irritations come from other people doing what conflicts with your mindsets. One such, are taxis and their selfish and lawless driving on the road. Yes, it’s frustrating, until I looked at Taxis as a means to get 16 persons to their work whereas I only had 1 person. This certainly meant they were contributing more to economic growth than myself, so I always give them right of way. I feel they deserve it and now I don’t get as mad!
- Arrive and say a meaningful hello to your work colleagues, then get a coffee. Call a 5-minute recap with your team, ensure you are in sync with their priorities and the support they need from you.
- Don’t open your computer unless it has your “To Do” list which should have been prepared long in advance, should have items that are critical, important and nice to do. Revert to your previous day’s notes and reminders and schedule into your day. Now open the computer.
- Ask yourself:
- “What do my customers need most from me now.”
- “What do my staff or colleagues need most from me now. ”
- Take these answers from point 8 and add to your To Do list.
- Emails, do a quick scan, start at the bottom and move towards the top flagging where possible. Go back and put into the order you need to respond, decide by when and then add into your days’ schedule.
- Now start applying that wonderful mind to what you do best.