Take Back Your Life! | Sally McGhee

Summary of: Take Back Your Life!: Using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to Get Organized and Stay Organized
By: Sally McGhee


Welcome to the summary of ‘Take Back Your Life!: Using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to Get Organized and Stay Organized’ by Sally McGhee. In this book, McGhee emphasizes the importance of true productivity, not just ticking off tasks on a to-do list, but defining meaningful objectives and approaching them strategically. The summary will discuss using Microsoft Outlook 2007, combined with McGhee Productivity Systems, as a powerful tool to plan and manage your work more effectively. You’ll discover how to identify and set strategic next actions (SNAs), schedule your tasks, and use the Integrated Management System (IMS) to optimize productivity.

Getting the Right Things Done

Productivity is not about accomplishing the maximum number of daily activities, but rather, completing the right tasks. To achieve this aim, organizations must set clear, meaningful objectives. These reference points help to focus activities, organize data collection, prioritize tasks, and make necessary decisions. Remember, your productivity is only as good as your objectives.

However, it’s essential to avoid “internal limiting beliefs,” which hinder productivity. These beliefs include thinking that one should handle all incoming information, reply to all requests, or that someone might ask for information, so it’s necessary to keep it. To substitute such limiting beliefs, consider more positive ones such as “discipline is a decision, not a personality trait,” and “I can be organized and use a system effectively.”

To succeed in this endeavor, start by changing the way you plan, organize, and handle your responsibilities. Microsoft Outlook can be an effective tool when utilized with McGhee Productivity Systems’ “MPS Cycle of Productivity” and its “MPS Integrated Management System.” Remember, identifying the right tasks and setting objectives are the foundation of productivity.

The Productivity Program for Effective Goal Setting

Learn how to achieve your meaningful objectives through the MPS Cycle of Productivity program. This book demonstrates the importance of breaking major goals into strategic next actions (SNAs), each of which should be a single-step activity that does not have additional steps or dependencies. By doing this, you can create an effective process to achieve your goals successfully. The four-step MPS cycle includes the following: (1) developing meaningful objectives and execution plans; (2) planning strategic next actions; (3) scheduling and completing your SNAs; and (4) reviewing and adjusting your activity plan, so you stay on the right track. The book also highlights the importance of choosing and prioritizing only those projects that align with your objectives, and how to distinguish between strategic actions and tasks to avoid getting bogged down. Overall, the book stresses the importance of aligning your meaningful objectives with your company’s mission, vision, values, and unifying goals to increase productivity and meet your goals effectively.

MPS Action Hierarchy Model

Learn how to increase productivity with the MPS Action Hierarchy Model, a four-level pyramid that puts your company’s mission and value statements at the top, followed by unifying goals, personal objectives, and SNAs. The program emphasizes saying “no” to nonessential tasks and prioritizing activities that align with your objectives. The book also warns against common distractions like disruptions, too many goals, changing priorities, and information overflow. To mitigate these pitfalls, experts advise setting work schedules, limiting distractions, and turning off extraneous notifications during designated work times. Follow this model, and watch your productivity soar.

Streamline Your Life

The Integrated Management System (IMS) offers a three-part solution to manage personal and work goals. The “Collecting System” gathers information for the “Reference System,” which tracks and updates completed tasks in the “Action System.” Microsoft Outlook’s Control Panel enables users to view IMS’s reference and action components on a grid simultaneously. It synchronizes with personal digital assistants such as iPhones and Blackberries. Utilize IMS effectively by coordinating goals, objectives, projects, and strategic next actions all in one place. Ensure firm policies permit tracking both professional and personal productivity. IMS is a valuable tool for unifying life goals.

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