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06 Oct

Are you doing the right things? - Refine and cultivate!


Date: 2010-10-06 08:42 Comments: 0 st

In times like these, it is more important than ever to work efficiently in the sense that we spend our time doing the right things. ??Now is the perfect time to better refine and elucidate our tasks and assignments so that we really have time for the most important ones, meaning, those which contribute the most to meeting our objectives in the short term as well as attaining the company’s long term vision.

Do this

  1. Take an empty sheet of paper.
  2. In the top right hand corner write down the goals that are the most important ones to work towards in the next six months. Write down what KPIs, key figures or milestones it concerns. Also make note of what values describe and define the goal. For example: “Turnover X USD”, “X% coverage”, “X number of new stores”, “the launching of a new product on May 15th”.
  3. Next, divide the sheet into three columns.
  4. As the heading for the left column, write “Doesn’t contribute to meet the objectives”.  As heading for the middle column write “Probably contribute to meet the objectives” and for the column to the right, write “Definitely contribute to meet the objectives”.
  5. Now take your time to think through what your assignments and tasks in your work are, and describe them just as detailed as if they were to-dos on your to-do list. Write down the different tasks in the appropriate column. It’s only you who know which column is the right one for each and every task, based on your experience of your own work.
    • Which of your daily duties and tasks unquestionably contribute to achieving the goals you have written down on the top right corner of the page?
    • What tasks probably contributes, or at least contribute at the next level to achieving the goals?
    • And finally, what tasks don’t really contribute to attaining the goal you’re aiming at, but are only things you do by habit or without asking yourself why?
  6. The next six months,

    • Allow the tasks you’ve written in the right column have the highest priority, meaning, do these tasks first.
    • Do the tasks in the middle column as well, but with an average level of priority. Consider whether you could delegate something, so you’d get more time to do the tasks with the highest priority.
    • The tasks you’ve got in the left column, those that don’t contribute to the achievement of your goals; decide whether you should stop doing them at all, if you can outsource them to someone outside of the company or whether to delegate them to a colleague, for whom these tasks could be contributing to achieving his or her goals.
  7. Leave this sheet on your desk for the next month. As soon as you get into a situation where you’re wondering what to prioritize, check in what column you previously put the task. If it’s not on the paper, decide in which column the task belongs.

Priority aid

This way of presenting your priorities is an excellent priority-tool in your everyday life. ??If your priorities are out of your hands, if you have a boss you need to check in with before determining what to do, it’s also excellent material for when you argue for what tasks you think you should prioritize. It’s most likely important to your boss that the company achieves its goals and if you’re able to show what tasks contribute the most in doing this, I am convinced that you will soon have a common picture of what is the right priority for you.

How do you do it?

How do you make sure you do the right things in hard times like these?

Please leave a comment below.

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