Deep work - Professional activities performed in a state of distraction -free concentration that pushes
At the start of the Week/Month/Year sit down and make a plan of what you want to do work wise or block out those days you don’t want to work so you have something to work towards and it makes it easier to know if you can fit in those last-minute requests.
2. Have A Process
For all your tasks work out a process and fix it in writing. How would you explain what you do if you became ill and wanted somebody to cover you or if you set on a freelancer or employee?
Get a second opinion, get someone to pretend to be an employee and try and follow the instructions. What may seem black and white to you maybe totally confusing to somebody else. (For example, your instruction of put the file in box A if I am working on in or box B if I am not working on it may make sense to you but how would the employee know if you were working on it or not?)
Put things in writing, your thoughts and dreams can go in a journal, lists in a notebook and tasks in a company policy. Don’t keep everything in your head, if you are not there things come to a holt as nobody knows what to do next. Also, it helps when giving feedback as you can clearly point out where someone has gone wrong.
Also writing things down helps with your own memory and aids you to remember to do the thing you are writing down.
Ever heard the sentence “Don’t know how I missed it, I even wrote it down look!”
It is not much use if you write something down but then never look at it again.
I have a routine where I look at my diary for the day, next day, next week, next month. Repetition is a good way of learning so if you start on a Monday you should be well sorted for Sunday as you will have reminded yourself 7 times.
If you have planned your week and regularly read what you have put you will know when that last minute request comes in if you can do it or not. Remember the diary does not lie so if there is no space in your diary say “no”. But if you know your schedule for the next few weeks you maybe able to change it to “No not this week but I can do it next week for you”
How can you keep on top of your spending if you wait till January to pass over a bag of receipts to your accountant or bookkeeper?
If you were asked what is the return on investment for attending networking events or on the work you do for a certain client would you know instantly if you were in profit?
Make sure returns are submitted on time. If not you create yourself more work by having to explain why it was late and having to make time to pay the fines that come with late submissions.
Get yourself in to people’s diaries early before they book them selves in for something else and where possible send all the information in one message. Then the day before the meeting send them a reminder.
Action points and a copy of the minutes should be issues to all those named on the attendance and apologies list as soon as possible after the meeting so that they can get on with the tasks given to them.
This saves you time as you don’t have the conversation of:-
“Have you done that thing yet?”
“The thing I asked you to do at the meeting”
“Can’t remember you asking me, send me an email and I’ll get on it”
Schedule the month coming up and then add it to your ‘Plan Your Week/Month/Year’ section and the it is more likely to get done than trying to shoehorn it in the gaps.
Writing one blog post save you a whole load of time. Once completed if you choose a photo to go with it you now have a Facebook post, select a quote from it and you have an Instagram or twitter post and if you video yourself reading it out you have a podcast.
The number of people who start on deadline day trying to do the task they have been give ages ago. Go back to step one and plan your work, put the deadline in to your diary, calculate how long it will take to do the job and then put the start date in to your diary too.