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What tips and tricks do you use to stop the busywork?

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 5, 2010 5:02:50 PM PST
We're all struggling with too much busywork - emails, meetings, paperwork. We could work all day and never get through it all.

How do you best manage the busywork so you can stay focused on the stuff that really matters?

Posted on Mar 16, 2010 8:28:33 AM PDT
I do the big stuff first as much as possible every day. I have a list of my goals and have taught myself not to be afraid of doing the important work - because the important work is usually the hardest - more difficult to define, something we usually haven't done before, something that requires difficult decisions to be made.
If you shorten the time allowed for the busy work (eg. email cut down to an hour a day right before you want to go home or go for lunch), you won't waste the time writing dissertations for emails that really require a short answer. The key is to write as much as will make your response clear, but no more. One of the most productive people I know would often write one word answers like "yes/no" to emails. I just learned to phrase my emails to him so that I could know how to proceed if I got a yes/no answer. He trained me to work to his style. :-)
At work, I outsourced anything I could set up a process for to the people I managed and let them own the process, yet managed them properly. This is much more difficult for me to do at home, partly because I'm the one paying for the outsourcing and partly because I feel uncomfortable outsourcing stuff I think I "should" be doing. I had to analyze the numbers for the return on my time to see that it was worth it to pay my son to do a lot of these tasks that I thought I should be doing.
BTW, Great book Michael, I subscribed to your blog way back in the day before you had a book out - it's great to see how a fellow Canuck has joined the big leagues !
Jacqueline Jolie

Posted on Mar 16, 2010 1:29:12 PM PDT
Jacqueline - thanks for such a great reply - and for the kind words!
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Participants:  2
Total posts:  3
Initial post:  Feb 5, 2010
Latest post:  Mar 16, 2010

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This discussion is about
Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters.
Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters. by Michael Bungay Stanier (Paperback - February 22, 2010)
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