Tips for better email management, magic hacks for enhanced productivity and advice on how to run effective meetings: these have become one of the most talked about subjects. The reason is that work efficiency has dropped sharply. So what are the different types of work we are so busy with?
- Planning: Planning has occupied one of the biggest chunks of time in our daily routine. It is the decision regarding energy allocation per task and finding the right methods to do it. Scheduling and running business meetings, for instance, can devour your time, unless you are using a meeting minutes tool. Of course, some find planning exceptionally boring. It’s like broccoli: not very tasty but extremely healthy.
- “Reaction”: This is the so-called “reactionary” work that entails responding to various requests, such as messages, emails, tweets and others. It is perhaps where distraction takes place, as you are concerned with responding rather than keeping your eyes on your daily goals.
- Procedures: As the name hints, these are routine, administrative tasks that just need to be done. Paying bills, Spreadsheet updates, QA and so on. It is important to keep an eye on procedures – sometimes tasks have become obsolete and your approach needs changing.
- Problem-Solving: This is the point in which we gather all our creativity, focus and mindfulness to find crafty, effective solutions. From coming up with a business strategy to creating witty content – it is all with the aim to find answers.
- Stress-based: The constant checking of product/service reviews, social media commentary and GA statistics. It should be minimized and analysed appropriately. Taking customer’s feedback on board could save us lots of time mulling over problems, but it could also be a big risk.
Now taking into account these 5 types of work, take a minute to draw a pie chart on a piece of paper and attribute how much time each of these take you weekly.
- Use simple planning tools and optimize them so they suit your business needs. Planning should happen regularly – not only when you hit the wall.
- It is best to allocate specific time block to “reactionary” work as otherwise it might creep up in your other types of work. Giving priority to reactionary work is a no-no. If planning is done timely and wisely, the need of reactionary work will be less.
- Procedures should be automated as much as possible – technology has made this very easy. Good managers know when and what to delegate to other team members without neglecting the nature of these, sometimes, vitally important tasks.
- Problem-solving calls for all our concentration. So find a quiet spot, switch your Internet (if needed) and forget about social media. If you are a Manager, motivate and praise your team for their ideas – whether or not they will be implemented. Real engagement comes with the feeling of being appreciated.
- Try to book 20-30 minutes of your day to check the things that bother you, make you curious or just calm you down that all is OK. Towards end of the day, preferably.
Work with awareness and analyse your days to see how you juggle your responsibilities.
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