Rid Your To-Do List of Low-Value Work and Increase Productivity

Over the years, our culture has come to rely more and more on technology. Why? Because, in many ways, technology makes life easier. But in the middle of this “technology makes life easier” mentality, many of us are still asking “Why am I so overwhelmed?”

The reality: technology allowed less people to do more work. At the same time, the workload has stayed the same—or in some cases increased.

In short, we became more productive but not less busy.

Productivity is a key component to success, but it is a struggle for many. When you look at your long list of to-dos, you probably feel overwhelmed—at least initially. In “Stop Doing Low-Value Work,” Priscilla Claman encourages over-loaded professionals to “take an active approach” and “design a new, do-able job for [themselves].” By determining what tasks to do when, you can rid your to-do list of low-value work.

What is “low-value work”? Any task that has little to no value for customers or colleagues. For Shared Hands, we would refer to these as “non-mission critical.” Other business mentors call these “$10 per hour tasks.”

The first step to increase your productivity is to determine whether you even have the ability to “design a new, do-able job.” If you do, then let’s get started!

If you are starting a new job, taking on more responsibilities, or undergoing a reorganization, you will have a fresh perspective to define your needs and goals and to analyze your to-do lists and projects. More importantly, if you are in a position where you can ask for help, ask!

The trick is to identify which tasks are low value.

Once you determine what these are, the next step is figuring out how to get rid of them:

  • If a task is simply unnecessary, then skip it—as long as you have permission to do so.
  • If it can be done electronically, find out how.
  • If it conflicts with your personal rules and guidelines, make it known.

If you can designate one hour a week to uninterrupted “delegation-time”, schedule it and stick to it! Use this time to analyze upcoming tasks—can they be delegated? If so, to whom? Also use that time to complete those small, seemingly insignificant tasks that you just need to get done.

While evaluating your to-do lists and projects, ask yourself this ultimate question: do I have the funds and the work to outsource?

Our mantra at Shared Hands is “Lighten the load.” We want to help you lighten your load by reviewing your projects and plans and then helping complete those unwanted tasks. We get to know you on a personal level, which allows us to shape our services to fit your needs and goals. Whether the need is marketing, writing and editing, or basic administration, we are here to turn your low-value work into high-valued time.

When all is said and done, as Claman points out, you need to “make [your job] work for you.” Let Shared Hands help!

Article Source: https://hbr.org/2016/06/stop-doing-low-value-work