Peter Drucker said “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
When you accomplish a lot of tasks, you may feel productive and efficient; but are you truly effective? Today’s business culture stresses “Do more, faster, with less!” With deadlines looming, it is easier to just try to do it all, instead of taking the time to sift through everything to find the few key items that are most important to getting the job done.
If you implement the 5 Steps to Being More Effective at Work below, you can simplify your work, accomplish more (really!), reduce your stress (wouldn’t that be nice), and feel more confident in achieving your goals.
Step One: What’s My Destination? (My Vision)
Determine what you want from your career and what your desired outcomes would be. The clearer you are on your “big picture,” the more tangible and the easier it will be to achieve.
Step Two: What Should I Consider? (My Strategy)
As your Vision becomes clearer, strategize on how you will obtain those tangible outcomes.
Step Three: How Will I Get There? (My Plan)
The secret to achieving your Vision is taking the time to plan what works best for you—what you want to do, what you want to change, and what you want to leave behind.
Step Four: What’s on My Plate? (Making Room for My Plan)
For your Plan to work, you must decide where to focus your attention. Take charge of your environment (physical and mental), clear away clutter, unnecessary appointments, or tasks that detract from your Plan. Make a list of everything, and prioritize each item from most important to least important. Items at the bottom will never get down. They just suck energy, so delete them.
Step Five: Where’s My Focus? (Staying on Track)
It is critical to keep your focus on what will move you forward toward your Vision. Create measurements you can use to check if you are on or off track against those prioritized items on your list from Step Four.
Although, this exercise will take some time to think about and act upon, as my clients have learned, it is well worth the effort.
Let your motto be: Do the Right Things, Not Everything!