Group lesser tasks. Some tasks are repetitive and can be done in the same time period for greater effectiveness. Reviewing related documents, returning calls and responding to email are examples of a series of individual tasks that can be grouped at one particular time.
You need to return several phone calls throughout the day. Concentrate on your most important projects and group all your calls for one time period. Don’t break concentration by jumping back and forth between tasks and then repeating the same task over again later. If possible, set up, carry out and follow through once for greater effectiveness.
This is where substantial amounts of time can be gained. It will take a disciplined approach, and you may need to train your support staff in your improved methods. Over time this new efficiency will reap big rewards.
Strategy creation is about doing the right things and is a primary concern of senior executives and business owners. Implementation is about doing things right, a much different set of activities. Both senior executives and lower-ranking managers must give implementation intense attention, since even a great strategy is worthless if people fail to implement it properly. Harvard Business School Publishing
Five Days of Action
Take a good look at the tasks you have to accomplish today. How many of them could be grouped together and easily completed in the same block of time?
Practice grouping like items today. Set aside one or two times for making calls. Stick to it. Group picking something up with banking and an off-site meeting. Be as regimented as you can about it.
Take some time today to think about what multi-tasking really is. It is stopping your work on one thing and taking the energy to start something else, then stopping that and going back to the first task. Each stop and start takes time and energy. Think about right-tasking: doing the right thing at the right time and concentrating on it until it’s done.
How much of your staff’s time is lost because tasks are not grouped? Imagine the hours of time it could save and the resulting increase in effectiveness that could be generated. How could you encourage this practice today?
Practice working on one thing until it’s complete. As far as possible, don’t let anything else interrupt you. See what happens and how you feel once you’re finished.