Matts Rehnstrom – Shaper of Business Excellence
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To Focus on Everything is to Focus on Nothing!

In this week’s Business Excellence article I will continue on the previous number where I wrote about situations where people focus on too many things and also do not seem to be able to organize all that they have to do.

I mentioned that it is only two major types of work that we have; process work and project work. Here I am going to give you a couple of tips on how to dramatically increase your personal efficiency.

I hope that you followed the tip that I gave you last week, of writing down everything that you have to do, and dividing it into process work and project work. Let us continue from there.

Evening fishing on the waterAs summer is here and as you may have plans for a summer vacation, you could also use the tips to get everything that you want to accomplish, done.

As this article then covers personal efficiency, it can relate both to your work within a process and a project. Both types of work can contain the most important work that you have to do this week and today.

If it is process work then you could have things lying around to do and that is enabling the process to flow on, and then also for the customers to get  products delivered. If it is a project, then the time keeps getting shorter until the project goal should be fulfilled. If you have others in the project related to what you produce in your activities, they are waiting for you to complete it.

Before you attack the pile on your desk or virtually on your computer, take a moment and think it over. What is it that you need to do within this week or this month?

Create a goal for yourself, write it down and read it out loud. “I feel wonderful now when it is Friday the 11th of July, and I have accomplished …”.

Then think about the three most important things that you need to do in order to accomplish that goal. Write down those three things on a piece of paper and put it where you can see it. Use a bold pen so it is easy for you to read it.

Then start to work on the first item on the list. Continue to work on that item until it is done. Do not let yourself be interrupted by something else. You need to focus on this item until you feel that you are done or that you cannot go any further, for the moment.

Continue then to work with the second item on the list. Do the same thing with that item. Focus on it until you are done or you cannot go any further. Then it is time for the third item, and the same approach.

Checklist - MC900439824If you find that you cannot go any further on an activity, ask yourself why. Is it because you are waiting for someone else or is it because you are stuck, or something else. If you are stuck, then you need to identify activities that help you get unstuck, in order to move on. If you wait for someone else then you need to follow up on him or her to make sure that you can move on.

If the day ends before you are done with all three items, then take another look at the list and learn from today’s experience. Is there anything that you need to do differently tomorrow. Are these three items still the most important to reach your goal. If not, update the list with new items or reorder the existing ones.

If you are done with one or more of the items on the list, then you make a new list with three items to work on tomorrow.

It is good to do the list the evening before you end your day. If you have done that you will let the subconscious mind work on the items. You will subconsciously prepare yourself for tomorrows tasks and will be more alert when you perform them.

If there is a problem in performing a task there is also a possibility that your subconscious may find a way around it. Feel confident that everything will be alright tomorrow.

By following this method you will find that you get the feeling of being in control of your work. You may have a lot to do, and by using this method you will get control of the things to do and know what to do.

As I suggested at the beginning, if you are on vacation and want to accomplish a lot of things, like building a porch, repainting the house, visiting grandma, and taking the family to the fun fair, you need to plan it well. Otherwise there is huge risk that you will go back to work in a couple of weeks without accomplishing any of it.

Use the same method as described above to get done what you would like to accomplish during the summer. Give it a try and if you find it useful then implement it during the rest of the year as well.

You are welcome to get back to me with a note about your progress. Please drop me a mail (matts.rehnstrom@cleanstream.se).

 

To you and your business excellence!

Matts

About the Author Matts Rehnstrom

Matts helps Business Analysts, especially those who work in government administration, to design efficient and high quality business processes for their clients so they are able to deliver value in a sustainable and transparent manner. With over 20 years of advanced business process design in both IT and government, he can show you a simple ‘Business Excellence’ formula which dramatically reduces the time required to design a process as well as ensures it is created in a way which is optimized for the people who actually do the work. The health of the business and the people working in it is always at the forefront of how I help business analysts design their processes. ➔➔If you are a business analyst who wants to ensure you deliver the best possible outcome for their clients (especially if your current project is not running perfectly according to plan!) then Matts can help you.

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