When people want to learn to become more productive and organised they come looking for help, they ask how can I become organised like you? I need to focus more, how I can work more effectively?
Simply put there are answers and solutions to every stressful and disorganised work environment. Anyone or any organisation can become more organised and relaxed with the right tools designed for that place of work. The question is, is the individual or organisation open to the change? Resistance to change appears in many forms
I get far too many emails….
My boss is constantly giving me extra work to do……
My co-workers keep interrupting me…….
My clients are constantly calling me……..
I have to attend too many meetings……..
Believe it or not there are solutions to all of these defences but the first element to look at is the Pareto Principle because very often we are getting stressed or overwhelmed by work simply because we are not doing the work that we need to doing and we are spending our time on unnecessary tasks.
Are you familiar with the Pareto Principle or the 20/80 rule?
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, observed that 80% of income in Italy went to 20% of the population. It is now a common rule of thumb in business and life that can be applied to a myriad of examples
80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients
80% of your business activity comes from 20% of your employees
80% of your time is spent with 20% of your acquaintances
80% of your sales come from 20% of your products
So now apply this principle to your working day and we can see that very often time is not the issue but prioritisation. Can you identify your 20%. Which activities are the critical activities and which are the ones that add no or little value to your organisation?
There are some daily tasks that are crucial and must be done regardless of interruptions. Take the example of payroll, this job must be done on a certain day at a certain time, if this were your responsibility and the job wasn’t done on time do you think your life would be worth living ?
Analyse your responsibilities and decide which items come under this category, obviously these are the first to call your attention. Deal with these items first and stay strong, remember the angry mob and visualise the mob each time your attention is pulled to another task. By scheduling these priorities they are more likely to get done. It will also help to advise your colleagues that you are unavailable at these times. So what if your best customer interrupts your task? Well of course you have no choice but to attend to him or her, but remember to return to your task when they leave, even if they have asked you to do something for them. (remember the angry mob) and schedule the new task into your daily planner. It is better to advise your customer that the task will be done tomorrow rather than today and actually live to complete the task!
Don’t forget to eliminate the time wasters, reading personal emails or email newsletters, long coffee breaks, surfing the net and remember to stay strong, saying no or identifying places where you are overloaded with work will be much more appreciated than a taking time off for stress related illnesses.
Focus on the 20% but don’t forget to do a little bit of the less important items daily. Remember just 10 minutes a day can write a book.