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Delivering What Matters

Health & Wellbeing

Our time and energy is limited. We need to be on top of our prioritisation to make both ourselves and the people impacted by our tasks happy. However, this can be difficult as often when a task is brought in front of you, and it is sold as urgent. And it could be in their eyes, but is it urgent for you?

Before saying yes, you need to prioritise and ask, what comes first?

Prioritisation – What Matters?

Delivering what matters is all about empathy and understanding what is important to the different audiences in our lives. First, we need to outline these audiences and consider how they’ll be impacted by having a task delayed or refused. These audiences can include:

  • Stakeholders
  • Family and friends
  • Your team
  • Yourself

We need to prioritise our work in relation to the expectations of the above audiences. These priorities will tend to change and shift over time, and that is perfectly okay.

Avoiding What Doesn’t Matter – Boundaries and Saying No

Saying no means you are staying true to your goals and what it is that you want. This isn’t necessarily selfish, as we are all limited by time and energy levels. Saying no is about being smart with those limitations and making sure you’re completing effective work.

It’s important to set clear boundaries because:

  • Saying no opens space for other things
  • Saying YES kills productivity
  • We are over-optimistic about how much energy, focus and attention we have each day
  • Constantly saying yes adds to our feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed and resentful.
  • Learning to say no is an important life skill

Four Productivity Techniques

Begin your Day by Prioritising

  • Spend time at the beginning of each day reviewing your to-do list
  • Recognise and accept that you cannot get everything done
  • Delegate the work to others or to a future time slot where necessary
  • Identify 1-3 ‘Most Important Tasks’ and commit to completing them by the end of the day

Use the Eisenhower Matrix

The below matrix is a really quick method of sorting through tasks that are simple and outlining how you can begin them. If a task is ‘not urgent’ and ‘not important’ consider whether or not the task is worth your time at all.

Use the 80/20 Rule

Also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule recognises that 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts. You can think of this as similar to physical effort. Performing physical tasks up to 80% of your capacity is simple and sustainable, but pushing that last 20% can be tough!

Highly productive people identify the most important 20% of their work. Then, they look at ways to cut down the other 80% of their schedule to find more time for the things that make the biggest impact.

Find repeatable (effective) shortcuts

Technology can be a huge time save, and often we aren’t making the most of it. Try some of the following techniques to save you time:

  • Use technology to automate repetitive tasks
  • Learn simple keyboard shortcuts
  • Put together standard operating procedures, allowing you and your team members to follow checklists quickly
  • Increase your typing speed – there are many online applications that can help

It’s not the big tasks that sink your productivity but the tiny asks that pick it apart. If you can be clear on what needs to be done and how valuable each task is, you can start delivering the tasks that are worth your time and energy.

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