Working in real time

If you really want to get something done, whether you're planning a fundraising event, opening a soup kitchen or working a party, operating in real time is essential. This is something corporations have understood for a long time. When you work for a company, you spend the main part of your day, five days a week, engaged in productive collaborative activity.

It is possible to encourage this kind of behaviour without working for a corporation, in fact, it is imperative to do so if you are to gain a competitive (or co-operative) advantage.

Working in real time, outside of the boundaries of a corporation, involves overcoming a number of blocking factors, assumptions and preconceptions about how you interact with people. Think about the following:

Do it now. Don't leave meetings or other activities until next week. Every hour, every day is precious. If you are busy, bring people together all at the same time. Be concise, meetings don't have to last for hours.

Be creative with your timekeeping, fit as much you can into your day.

Get up and get on with it. Every day that you don't work at it is a day wasted. Are you really using your time as well as you ought to?

Check in with one another. Encourage collaboration and promote positivity. Maintain the focus of the group. Work to clear objectives and strive to achieve them quickly and efficiently. Work to improve morale and always be ready with praise and affirmation when goals are met.

Don't confuse working with socialising. It's great if you can mix the two, but you don't need to wait three days to get back to someone if you're working with them. Do it now.

Don't be afraid to do the dirty work. If there are some essential tasks and activities that need to be completed in order to progress, don't wait around for someone else to do them, you may waste days waiting for it to happen. Get them done and move on.

Don't procrastinate. It's hard to get started sometimes. Be encouraging to others and overcome inertia in yourself. Don't be afraid to push each other from time to time. If you're careful and considerate you shouldn't end up breaking too many eggs.

Focus on what you enjoy. It's easier to get started working in real time if you like what you're doing. Later, when you're active and fully engaged you might want to expand the scope of your activities.

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