Practice What You Preach

I was working on a long, long email for my team to outline few good practices that are generally working in my work life. Then it struck me, that it took me too much time to finish it, so I just polished it a bit and send it. Here it is (MS HTML formatting cleared :)):

Hi team,

[I have been writing this email for ages. So in the light of my advices, I am sending it as it is (not fully complete) so at least you can use whatever I wrote so far. If I wrote more – rest assured, you will be the first to hear it :)]

Have you wonder what can make you more successful in what you are doing? Have you ever wondered “what am I supposed to do to get Kosta and the rest of the leads off my head”? Have you ever wondered what can you do in order to do more tasks in less time?

Well, I do. All the time. So I wanted to share some tips with you that can help you. They “work for me”© so they might work for you as well:

  1. Always, do your easiest tasks first
    We all tend to jump on whatever challenging tasks we have first as they are hmm “challenging” i.e. “more interesting”. That’s great and is fun but challenging tasks tend to be time consuming and also hard to predict in terms of what time it will take. So it is really common case that is in the “school of hard knocks”, that often we start the task that we find more challenging and suddenly we find ourselves into a situation when we haven’t done anything – the hard one, because it took us more time that we expected and the easy ones because, well, because we have doing the other interesting. So the moral of the story is – always do your easiest tasks first. Because:
    • They are easier to estimate – so you can PLAN your time
    • They are quick to finish so you can then see your daily tasks decrease – there is nothing better than that see how your daily work decreases
    • They are quick to finish so your leads can actually see that you are working 🙂
    • One you finish the easy tasks you will KNOW exactly how much time you have for the hard ones – so you can fairly easy estimate how your day can look like from there on

    So in real life – how this relate to you? Here are few examples:

    • Do your follow ups first – sending follow ups on all cases takes no more than 10 minutes but everyone of us (including me) tend to forget them as the working day goes by. So do them first
    • Review your cases as the day begins and plan how you are going to work through them – planning your day takes 10 minutes (and you can do it while following up) but then you will be able to optimize through your tasks instead of jumping them when they become hot
    • Check your emails in the beginning of the day – those nagging managers are so unhappy when you miss their emails. It will only take you 5-10 minutes to go over your new emails and make sure nothing is missed and keep them happy 🙂
  2. Always set yourself deadlines
    We all tend to go over the top when working – this is natural for this team and I am proud to see you doing this over and over again. Still most of times it is recommended that you set a deadline for finishing a task. Something like “I am going to work on case XXXX until 7 pm”. Note that the expression – it doesn’t say “I am going to SOLVE the case by…” but “I am going to work the case by…”. This is another useful tip for keeping you organized and more importantly – FRESH.
    Statistics show that human beings’ best ideas come under the shower or while doing something absolutely unrelated to the main goal. Unfortunately we are to build a recreation room with showers where you can try getting your best ideas from, but still you can try be creative and use other ways

Now as I mentioned in the beginning of this email and to follow my own advice in #2, I am sharing this text with you even if I consider it work in progress. But “Practice What You Preach” is my third advice to you



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