Like everyone else, I’m interested in strategies that allow me to get my work done faster. Of course, quality does matter, and this usually leads to putting in more hours during the day. However, there are strategies and techniques that can help you complete the core requirements earlier in the day.
Does this mean you can go home at 11 a.m.? I suppose this largely depends on the type of work you do and who writes your paychecks. If you are a business owner, you can call it a day when the requirements are done. However, if you’re a nurse, you will likely have to stick it out until the end of your shift.
The point here is to discuss strategies that make you efficient at what you do for a living. The Pareto Principle applies here, which means identifying the 20% of our activities that generate 80% of the results. With the other 80% of the tasks, you can use creative procrastination, or delegate them to someone with the time to get them done.
Know your 20%
It’s impossible to maximize your performance without first knowing the most important tasks important to your job. If you are a budget analyst, you need to collect the data from individual managers, input them into the system, and verify the accuracy of the data. You have other duties, such as attending meetings, contributing to projects, and analyzing financial trends. If planned correctly, you can complete the 20% of your duties in about 10 hours per week, which means you have 5 hours to participate in the 80% of activities that are less important.
Train Your Team
Regardless of your competence level, there is only so much one person can do. The most successful people are committed to training the members of the their team. However, training is just one part of the equation. You must empower them to make decisions.
Recognize that team members will make mistakes, and some of them might be significant. You must avoid the temptation to ridicule or punish someone when an error is made. Instead, it’s best to use the situation as a learning moment. Once the issue is resolve, you can review what caused the mistake. In some cases, the training program might be at fault.
Refuse to Kill Time
It’s far too easy to spend the morning reading the ESPN highlights or shopping for gifts online. Before you know it, lunchtime has arrived, and you have yet to address any part of your work. You have checked email and even responded to some of the urgent messages, but this is far from meaningful work.
The successful people understand that wasting hours during work will inevitably cause problems on the back-end. You must hit the ground running each morning. You cannot allow coffee breaks and personal activities to interrupt your work time.
Is the 3-hour day a real possibility? You can get work done faster, especially if you focus on the activities that are most meaningful. This may not mean that you go home earlier from the office, but it does mean that you can participate in other activities that are most important to your management team. Of course, you know the benefits that come to those who are proficient at what they do, and are willing to work on high-value assignments.