On April 4, 2018, I wrote a blog titled Wheels spinning in place and I would like to build on this topic because it is very important to understand why we are not covering ground as quickly as we should be. The 4 tips I provided were as follows:
Just in the past couple of weeks I have been really applying these tips and I have really observed major improvements. Once I pick up a new project, I am sure to establish clear objectives. From these objectives I am able to create a plan and can prepare for potential challenges along the way. I am very cognizant of why I am working on the project. Does it make sense or is it a big waste of time? If it does not make sense and will not benefit the company, then I will push back and explain why I think we should not partake in the project. This would be a portion of working smarter and not harder. Previously, I have picked up projects and treated them as tasks I simply had to get done. If I did find out the project was not sensible and not value-add, it was always at the end when I completed 80% to 90% of the work. At this point, I have used a lot of my time on a project that is not going anywhere. Basically, I am not going to get recognition for something that is not positively contributing to the company’s financials.
Finally, you need to communicate the final results and close out the project. This is a very important step because it helps your leadership and peers realize your value-add to the organization. Additionally, it allows you to move onto the next project and not have to think about a project that is dangling by a thread. Do not be a project hoarder! Finish your projects in a timely manner and move on. Today I focus on the large projects that will add the most value to the company instead of many smaller projects that do not add as much value. Just because you are doing a lot does not always mean it translates into value-add.
There is no right or wrong way to achieve effectiveness as long as you are successfully achieving effectiveness. I will say there are better methods than others. Personally, I keep a notebook with tasks that need to get done to complete a project. From day to day, I copy the tasks over again and again. After you copy the task over again and again, eventually you get tired of writing it out. This motivates you to finish the task, so you do not have to write it again. Another tip is to focus on the most important items on your list first, especially if they are urgent. After you complete the most important items, then you would move to the less important items. This would be classified as prioritization. You may have other methods that also work for you. Just keep on pushing and continue to improve yourself.