Q&A Tuesday – 3
Question is the new answer! Please enjoy and don’t forget to ask questions!
Transcript from the podcast –
It’s Q&A Tuesday! and I have a new question for this week, sent by Ankita from Mumbai.
Question. Being workaholic is not always being effective at the workplace, so how do I make myself more effective and keep my work more sorted?
Answer – A really interesting question sent by Ankita.
She has mentioned a really important thing, which is “Being Effective”. Being workaholic sometimes can mean “Being Efficient” and not “Being Effective”. These two words are very similar sounding but they have a huge difference. If you are being a workaholic and working all day long, there is a possibility that you are doing the thing you are paid for in the most efficient way possible.
For example – If your job is to slice potatoes, you might be the best potato slicer in the world that you can slice one potato in 10 seconds. But that’s just being efficient in slicing potatoes. However, being effective will mean what is the best way possible to get the job done the right way. So while being effective, you’ll have to expand your horizon and see what’s the real purpose. If the purpose is to manufacture 100 KG potatoes chips a day, and you are slicing a potato in 10 seconds in the most efficient possible. Still, it might not be suitable for the end goal which is producing 100 KGs of potato chips, so you’ll have to think of another way to get the job done, probably procure a potato slicing machine which can slice 20 KG potatoes in an hour. So you’ll be having all potatoes sliced in 5 hours and you can put it for drying the same day.
So the point is not to make you being effective in chips manufacturing but to show the difference between being effective and being efficient.
In a broader perspective Being Efficient is “Doing Things Right” which is tactical thinking and Being Effective is “Doing the right things” which is strategic thinking.
So Ankita, coming back to the question, to be effective, you need to figure out what are the right things for you to do your job in the minimum time frames. That can be using the right tools or networking with the right set of people.
In a practical example, you can start using a good todo list apps like todoist, to jot down your top 3 todos for the day, probably the evening before today. Also get a pen and paper and jot down the major time wasters in your day. It can be a few people who you are not really interested in mingling with, or it can be a few trivial tasks, which you have been assigned and these trivial tasks can shift your focus from the main 3 to-dos of the day. So you need to find a way to either finish of those tasks in a special time frame assigned for such tasks in a minimal time or you need to delegate these tasks to someone else. Third major time waster can be checking mails and social media. In an email driven work environment, it can be hard to not instantly check emails for the work to come. But if you notice it may sum up to 40-50% of your time which you are actually wasting by seeing similar mails again and again. Same goes with Social Media, in today’s time, of course keeping up with friends and family means keep checking your social media feeds, but that can easily become a black hole of time wasting. So even if its a must for you to check your mails or social media, the best solution it to batch them. Meaning check your mails and social media feeds at specific 2 or 3 times only in a day. Best times can be 12PM, 3PM 5:30PM.
Pro-tip - Disable your social media apps notifications on your phone.
If you do these 3 things You’ll find yourself left with 2-3 free hours in a day. That you can fill up by reading books or doing something you are passionate about or networking with the right set of people in office which can help you in getting your work done.
To summarize the answer –
1. Be effective compared to being efficient, think from a broader perspective.
2. Use the right tools at work and Network with the right set of people at the workplace, so that you can get your job done in minimal time.
3. Batch your mail and social media feed checking and Fill up the left free time with something you feel passionate about.
Hope I answered your question.
Thank you for listening.
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Credits and License:
Smooth Wedding by Andrew Applepie (Germany) – Check out Andrew’s page here – It may just peace you out.