Whether you’re back at the office, still WFH, or combining both, work will always need to be done. We can have our own default ways of working, because ‘that’s how I’ve always done it’ or ‘how we do it round here’. That’s fine if everything is getting done right and on time…but if we want to get stuff done AND have some time for family, friends and fun, these 4 suggestions can help.
1. Be selective
Start by acknowledging you can’t get everything done, all the time, for everyone. So, be picky. What’s the One Big Thing you really need to get done today? Give that priority. Of course, there are other smaller tasks that need to progress, so identify some work that you can get done in 30 minutes.
2. Block the time out
Put the tasks in your diary/calendar – yes, really. This may seem so basic that it’s tempting to drop it; but many participants when in my ‘How to plan and prioritise’ workshop say it helps them get things done. Tip: add 10% to the amount of time you’ve estimated. Another tip: when you’ve completed a task in your calendar, if it took longer than you thought it would, update the slot in your calendar. Doing this will help you get clearer about how long a task really takes – handy for bargaining with colleagues in future about how long you need.
3. Speed up
This suggestion can cause eyebrows to raise. But really, does every task you do in a typical working day need the time you lavish on it? Ask yourself how much the task is worth. If it’s worth, say, 20 minutes of your time, set a timer. Notice if you go over the time – why is that? Did you want to add flourishes, bells and whistles? Gold-plating that isn’t required could hold you back.
Encourage colleagues to create and use checklists and/ or process maps. That way everyone knows the ‘what / how / who’ of recurring tasks. When wrapping up a project, get input on how these job aids can be improved.
You may find this post useful: ’10 tips to help you stop procrastinating’ – and if you want to find out more about my ‘How to plan and prioritise’ workshop please get in touch, via https://www.zoomly.co.uk/contact/.