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Secrets to Leadership Success (Investor’s Business Daily)

Punch The Clock To Avoid Sweating Summer Commitments
By Sonja Carberry, for Investor’s Business Daily
Featuring Quote from Leadership Expert, Steve McClatchy

A million things to juggle this summer — at home and the office? How to stay cool when the heat is on:

  • Anticipate getaways. There’s a reason it’s easier to get more done in the days before a break.

“The adrenaline rush that causes us to be extra productive the week before a big vacation can be attributed to motivation gained from working toward a goal,” said Steve McClatchy, founder of Alleer Training & Consulting. His advice?  Always look forward.

“If you can’t show me something on your calendar that you’re excited about, then you’re headed for being burned out and wasting time,” he told IBD.

  • Schedule it.  Don’t let things you enjoy fall through the cracks of a booked-up schedule.

“The busier you get, the more important it is to have things that you want to do scheduled and planned.” McClatchy said. “If you don’t take the time necessary to schedule them on your calendar, they have a slim chance of ever happening.”

  • Let go. “When you feel like you have taken on too much and are not keeping up with any of it, it’s time to re-prioritize your responsibilities.  Deciding what you should stop doing is sometimes more important than deciding what you should do,” McClatchy said.

Those who’ve overcommitted learn to say no. But how to decline nicely?

“Talk about what you’ve said yes to,” McClatchy said. “Sharing what you already have planned is a lot easier than having to say no.”

  • Punch the clock. “No one likes to be micromanaged, especially when it comes to time.”

So says Andrew Hurd.

The CEO of Epocrates (EPOC), which developed a mobile app for physicians, believes in flexibility — especially in the summer.

Sixteen-hour days are common for the father of two. But on Thursday afternoons, colleagues know Hurd leaves early to play catch with his boys.

  • Foster responsibility. Given the freedom, employees can similarly master their own schedules.

Hurd’s approach?

Hire passionate, self-directed people. Supply them with clear objectives. Then let them work.

“Flexibility is a byproduct of all of those things,” he said. “The last thing you worry about is if they are putting in the time.”

  • Separate the two. Hurd aims for a healthy split between commitments at work and home, especially with his children. “They see that I work hard,” he said. “They see that I work long hours. All they really ask is that when I’m (with them), I’m present.”
  • Eliminate waste. Ever wade through a jam-packed email box post-vacation? filters out the ones you don’t really need. President Stuart Roseman says the average person gains by using his service, which filters unwanted messages from inboxes.

“The number of emails is going to keep going up — the statistics just say so — but there are only 24 hours in a day,” he said.

SaneBox studies email headers to figure out which messages you probably don’t need.

“The body of your email never touches our servers,” Roseman said.

Those you typically delete immediately get compiled into a daily summary. Users can review the list at their leisure, instead of being interrupted throughout the day with unwanted missives.

  • Mechanize. How about those email lists you’ve been meaning to unsubscribe from? SaneBox added a black-hole folder to do just that.

“You drag an email there, it’s like automatically unsubscribing from it,” Roseman said.

Another SaneBox feature schedules automated reminder emails for those messages you need to follow up on before you head out the door.

* This article has been slightly modified from its original publication.

Steve McClatchy is the author of the award-winning New York Times Bestseller DecideWork Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead by Example. If you would like to learn more about having Steve deliver a virtual or in-person presentation or workshop for your organization, team, or association, email


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