by Vasco Duarte
For a lot of people, being happy at work depends how well they do their jobs. At the same time: As many people struggle with the one thing that defines whether a working day sucks or turns out great: productivity. So, while procrastinating, I ran into an article by Hannah Whittenly and I did a little dance. It’s called The 7 Habits of Highly Efficient People. Let’s take a look.
The first thing that defines efficient people is the way they plan. Often, important and urgent aren’t the same thing, we tend to choose the second one and can’t find enough time for the first. Also, Hannah talks about the importance of long term and short term goals and stuff like that. If you like to know how to get your time management in order, I suggest this article on the use of Remember the Milk. And even if you use another tool, the principle stands.
Easy one: Don’t dawdle, don’t loiter, and don’t dilly-dally. Get on with it. If you have 25 tasks a day and it takes two minutes to start each one, you’ve lost almost an hour.
This is the hardest one so far. Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to service his clients or a colleague who loves to help out the team, sometimes enough is enough. Learn to say no. Why? Because it beats the alternative where people count on you but you can’t deliver great work. ‘No’ might be a disappointment, but it’s something you can explain. Bad work you can’t.
Hmm, difficult one. Hannah talks about ‘a work home boundary’ and how you need time for family, rest, relaxation etc. And yes, of course you do. For me it’s not about not taking your work home, it’s about finding balance. If you can spend time with the kids in the morning and you can pick ‘m up from school, a little work in the evening might not be a problem. Hey, that sounds like planning and by now you know how to do that 😉
Don’t do it all by yourself. Learn to trust people, step by step if that suits your character. Difficult? Try playing Delegation Poker and create an Authority Board to make clear what everyone’s expectations and responsibilities are.
It might slow you down at the start, but if something can be improved by changing the way you work, do it. Think long term on this one. And of course you should measure the results so you know if it pays off.
For many of us it’s a habit: After each project we focus on the things that need improvement. And yes, getting better is a good thing. But don’t forget to celebrate, it helps to recognize the hard work people did. According to Hannah, ‘recognizing the good in life is quite a powerful boost’. I think she’s spot on.
Photo by epSos.de