To succeed in today’s busy world, you need to decide what to excel at and what to do just adequately enough. Break down activities you do into three categories: invest, neutral, or optimize. “Investment” pursuits are areas where more time and a higher quality of work lead to an exponential payoff, such as strategic planning. Aim for A-level work here. In “neutral” activities, more time spent doesn’t necessarily mean a significantly higher return. Attending project meetings is a good example. You don’t need to excel; a B is fine. “Optimize” duties are those where additional time leads to no added value and keeps you from doing other, more valuable activities. The faster you get these tasks done, the better. Minimize the time spent on optimize activities so that you can dedicate your energy to higher quality work.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “How to Allocate Your Time, and Your Effort” by Elizabeth Grace Saunders.