Good morning to my superhero colleagues!
For a moment start thinking about how you communicate that you completed a task. Perhaps it’s in the email reply, a phone call… “Done that thing”… “FYI”… or dump a document on the desk and walk away…?
How much effort do you put into your work and how quickly do you announce completion?
I mentioned in a previous Friday Thoughts that few people would argue about doing the minimum… But I am usually one of those advocates.
We often shamelessly promote ourselves as being someone who has high standards; we tell others that we are the person who goes above and beyond expectations in our performance, (it has become almost a script for modern interviews).
But today I want you to consider how inefficient that philosophy really is. Doing enough is still enough. In fact, doing just enough allows you to be done with that task and move onto the next, completing more things to standard and making you instantly more productive.
In my opinion, a perfectionist is a massive time waster.
A common note in efficiency/leadership/strategy books I’ve read this year tell about at 80/20 rule: Where 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts (that topic may be worth it’s own Friday thought).
Today I want to give you a template that I use:
As soon as you get a task to perform, fully establish the goal with the thought of the minimum it takes to achieve it, (also consider what would be extra). Complete the goal to that minimum standard then note in your report about the extra.
Become a master at reporting using the 4 bullet point method, both in text and in voice. It should go something like this:
By doing it this way you are clearly articulating (1) your understanding of the task that was set, and been efficient by matching it to (2) what you have produced. In providing the challenges and risks (3) you have highlighted things to be aware of, and finally (4) you will display that you have established potential improvements that may be necessary, nice to have or worth that extra effort.
This is a clear and efficient method. It also plays into advancing agreed strategical development. After delivery, you can wait for immediate feedback, allow your colleague to show gratitude for your effort.
Important to note, that this is live, by that I mean in conversation, face to face or on Teams. We like our emails, the time and date stamp of proof and history, but if you want feedback it is best to approach and give the opportunity (following up with a short email).
Efficiency, honesty and clarity in communication is always appreciated.
Unnecessary, extra, superfluous and surplus words, letters, numbering, details, explanations, variations blah blah blah etc etc etc only serve to hide or confuse 😊
Remember: Small, smart changes.
Efficient and clear delivery + give an opportunity for immediate feedback
Let’s all make a little less effort today to get more done 😉