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Struggling with routine tasks?

With so many day to day tasks required to complete our jobs it is hardly surprising that some items don’t get completed when urgent projects appear on our desks instead. The day to day gives way to the fire fighting and unique most times.

The use of a timetable is one way to coping with your daily (or routine) tasks, but often the rigid nature of a timetable means that it can be discarded in a matter of days when the other items get in the way (that spur of the moment meeting, that customer complaint, that colleague who has phoned in sick etc..).

How can we create a way forward that is more flexible to cope with both the erratic demands on our time and the stability of routine tasks?

You could consider a ‘start of shift’ approach with a list of tasks that need to be completed and an ‘end of shift’ slot so the tasks that didn’t get completed at the start of the day could be completed at the end.

You could timetable parts of the week into our diaries, once we had worked out which times were quietest for doing this work.

You could block time off that was sacred, or adjust our working hours so that sacred time was available.

You could automate items on your computer so that they sprang up into your face when then needed to be completed (hopefully increasing the chance of them being completed).

You could compile a big long list of all of the things that needed to be completed, (daily, weekly or monthly) and make it public in your place of work so that peer-pressure could keep you on track. This is great if your colleagues do it also, meaning that you can help each other should the overload of urgent work overwhelm you.

We have many options at our disposal, and it is an observation that most businesses don’t try to accommodate this problem – they just get on and struggle.

You have an option to be different.


Smartspeed Consulting Limited
'For When Results Matter'
http://www.smartspeed.co.uk/

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About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous i…