22 ways to help you implement your library plans

  1. Proud2KnowCoveyMatrixUse a stakeholder analysis to see who could help you implement parts of the project, programme or service development that local staff cannot. Consider the roles and responsibilities of a new initiative together with your key stakeholders. Who might oppose you, who could partner up? See more on this here.
  2. Help prioritise your tasks using the (Stephen) Covey Matrix as shown above from his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Map your tasks on the matrix according to their importance versus urgency. Disregard those that are neither urgent nor important and defer those that are urgent but unimportant. Focus on the urgent and above all on the most important and not yet urgent to prevent them from becoming so.
  3. Review the monitoring structure in place to measure how far you are achieving your objectives. Are you using SMART ones: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely?
  4. Use David Allen’s GTD 5-step time management approach to your advantage.
  5. Apart from drawing up standard programme or project plans, draw up a roadmap for the path ahead for a more visual implementation plan, and share with colleagues for all involved to see.
  6. Team up project managers with staff who need more support in getting things done creating mentors.
  7. Review the project management methodology, tools and software you have to support you. Does it support new forms of working?
  8. The more responsibility you or a staff member has, the more necessary it is to focus on that rather than on what seems most interesting / near to one’s heart, so delegation is key.
  9. Consider how far perfectionism is getting in the way of making choices or completing tasks. Coaching could well help.Young adults dancing
  10. Reflect on the root cause of procrastination (fears and abilities) when it comes to certain recurring road-blocks under library control. Coaching could help free barriers.
  11. Engage with potential staff at the beginning of your idea’s conceptualisation to involve this motivated staff in its implementation later on.
  12. Consider training more of your staff in a project management methodology such as Prince2 or introduce the Scrum method for more of an agile approach to development.
  13. Monitor on a monthly/3-monthly basis how long time is spent on certain tasks or projects. Does this reflect responsibilities, role and the budget assigned or could your time be better spent on getting other things done?
  14. Create and share metaphors and stories to set the scene of implementation be it to launch a plan or to help speed up the current situation. This will help motivate staff in a difficult period of transition.
  15. Consider celebrating starts and big successes with your team or organisation from drinks or cakes to vouchers or excursions.
  16. Ask staff to reflect on what good habits help them forward and what bad habits stand in their way of getting things done.
  17. iStock_PostitMass_15418540XSmall-1Make a head start on the day the night before. Make a list of 5 things that need to be done the next day and put times next to them and follow this schedule. See how this helps motivate and gets things done.
  18. Get the dreaded task done first. Things can only get better after that.
  19. In general, turn off email, other internal communication tools or social media and put your phone on silent mode during your working day. At a time when you need to get a lot of concentrated work done, schedule turning them back on once in the morning and once in the afternoon and see how much more productive you’ll be.
  20. If you’re struggling with getting a difficult task done, visualize the end success and imagine what it looks, feels or sounds like once done. Capture that memory or image and keep it close to your workplace.
  21. Create a music playlist to give you the energy you need to get started, to wake up during a break or for the way home at then end of the day.
  22. The 80/20 Pareto Principle says that most of our time is spent on less important tasks, i.e. 80% of it. Try to focus on what work will get the most results and really focus your most effective energy on that part.


These ideas have come from David Allen, Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy, academic library colleagues and myself when managing information projects for over 20 years.

Vanessa ProudmanIf you need help in getting something done, I can help. Just drop me a line at vproudman@proud2know.eu


Comments are closed.