(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Have you checked out the Kronos blogging community? Lots of great resources focused on being a department of one, workforce management, and competitive differentiation. Enjoy today’s article!)
Years ago, I worked for a company that did everything at the last minute. Even if they didn’t need to. They loved working under the pressure of pulling a project together under a time crunch. It drove me crazy! They could have easily planned the project out, worked on a little bit each day, and completed the project early … without stressing everyone out.
I also wondered if the quality and accuracy of the project suffered as a result. It’s not always the case, but let’s face it, sometimes in an effort to meet a tight deadline we have to cut corners. Obviously, we don’t want to do that. Depending on the project, rushing our work could have an impact on safety and security. As today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos points out, we need to find ways to focus on the accuracy of our work.
Recognize that all work isn’t eligible for multi-tasking. I realize that we often have to multi-task. That being said, not all work should bemulti-tasked. There are some activities that should be completed on their own. Sometimes that’s because the task is complex. In other cases, it’s because we’re new at the task and need to concentrate. Regardless, we shouldn’t multi-task all day, every day.
Identify tasks that need greater focus and attention. Speaking of multi-tasking, try to think about the tasks you’re responsible for and the best way to complete them. Would it make sense to do them at the beginning or end of the day, when it’s less noisy around the office? Is it possible to do two things at the same time? For example, I do a lot of reading and listening to webinars while walking on my treadmill desk.
Set aside uninterrupted time to complete complex work. If you need to get something done, don’t hesitate to block off an hour on your calendar, close the door, and get it done. It’s better to complete a task in an hour uninterrupted versus two hours with interruptions. Now, I will admit that everything can’t be an uninterrupted task. We do need to be approachable. But when we’re faced with a deadline, sometimes it’s necessary.
I totally get it. Our professional lives are busy and full. On some levels, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But there’s a fine line between busy and overwhelmed. We need to be able to focus and have the time to do our best work. That means knowing when to multi-task and understanding the best ways to disconnect and focus on our work accuracy.12