How to achieve the important outcomes

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” - Tom Landry
 

In my line of work, I get to meet and support many workers who either have the right intent but struggle to make progress, who would like to do better or who are feeling overwhelmed. While 65% of executives say the overwhelmed employee is an urgent problem (Source: Deloitte Human Capital Trends report), a far greater percentage aren’t maximising their potential. How can you achieve more of the important outcomes?

Busy workers are challenged with:

  • Large workloads
  • Conflicting priorities and demands for time
  • Insufficient hours each day / week to get everything done

The situation is such that 36% of employees would give up $5,000 a year in salary to be happier at work (Source: Randstand). An alternative approach to increase satisfaction levels is to improve personal productivity and unlock workers to achieve more of the outcomes that matter.

The first place to start is to understand where efficiency savings are possible from the activities that consume time. The 3 most common are:

  • Meetings – the number of hours attending planned or impromptu meetings
  • Email – the alignment between an individual’s preferences and their email workflow
  • Interruptions – the level of interruptions

The good news is it’s possible to reduce and proactively manage these to free up time. Once this is realised, the next steps are to:

  • Understand what needs to be done to achieve the important outcomes
  • Plan and schedule these activities
  • Execute the plan (treat this step with the same importance as attending a meeting with your most important customer)

For many workers, a large workload is likely to remain. However, being more efficient with how you work is critical in supporting you to get more of the important work done and achieve the outcomes that matter.