Does your to-do list feel like it’s never ending? Do you reach every Friday and realise that once again you didn’t quite get to the deeper work that was your main priority for the week? You’re not alone.
In fact, those who seem to always complete tasks and find time to go above and beyond aren’t working harder than you, they’re just working smarter and have already identified tasks and habits preventing them from getting any work done. Here are some shortcuts….
If you were to keep track of where your time is spent during the work day, how many hours would you expect to spend replying to emails, Teams messages and Slack notifications?
Communicating with colleagues can be a huge time drain: The average British worker receives on average 40 emails per day, and can spend up to two hours daily replying. In fact, research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of SoftwareONE showed that the average UK worker spends up to five work days annually responding to emails.
An always-on culture means that employees often don’t feel comfortable pausing email notifications and allocating specific times during the day for inbox management.
A University of California-Irvine study showed that it takes workers up to 20 minutes to regain initial momentum following an interruption. So, it makes sense to pause notifications while you work on other tasks, and schedule time throughout the day to catch up with emails.
Being a stickler for detail is a good trait, however when that trait spills over into micro-managing and a need to control everything, it becomes problematic.
Are there tasks you do weekly that you could delegate, either to a junior member of your team or to a colleague? Delegation isn’t about passing off work, it’s about recognising where your strengths lie, and ensuring that that’s where you spend the majority of your time.
If you’re not in a position to hand off tasks then speak to your boss and see if some team restructuring can be done to free up some of your time.
Experts suggest trying to tackle one task at a time, to the exclusion of everything else. However, if you prefer to multi-task or work in a fast-paced environment that involves lots of conflicting priorities, tackling the most difficult and complex project first will ensure that you constantly feel that things are moving forward.
Do you schedule your diary around your most productive time of day or do you let external forces impact how you work? If you know that you concentrate best first thing in the morning or are most productive directly after lunch, then block out that time to focus on bigger tasks.
Try to plan your diary so that you schedule admin tasks or catch up calls for times you know your concentration may be less than optimal. Wasting peak productivity time on mundane tasks is not how you blitz a to-do list.
While the idea of simply clocking in and out and collecting a salary each month appeals to some, for others, working in a role that lacks challenge can actually result in a lack of motivation to complete tasks. If this is the position you’re in and you no longer feel challenged in the workplace, maybe it’s time to find a new role that is more senior and the next step up the ladder. Or make a lateral move to a role that has projects which align with your skillset and values.
The Alt A Job Board is full of opportunities across all sectors and experience levels. Below, you’ll find three exciting roles but visit the job board yourself to see the breadth of jobs on offer.
The Role: As Compliance Risk Manager with Airbnb you will develop and manage governance programs for compliance and risk regarding third party engagement, operational change management, and regulatory exam management.
The Responsibilities: You will identify gaps in risk management with a view to preventing potential future losses and making appropriate recommendations to mitigate risks.
The Requirements: You should have a minimum of five years’ experience in the payments/fintech environment and will have worked in regulatory compliance and/or a financial crime team, as part of the second line of defence. Deep knowledge of relevant FCA principles and rules, UK money laundering regulations and UK JMLSG guidance notes is also required.
The Responsibilities: You will develop strong strategic customer relationships with key influencers in media and creative agencies, and priority clients to create opportunities for incremental revenue and to shift reputation.
The Requirements: You will need a comprehensive knowledge of the TV trading market and other media, a comprehensive knowledge of trading parameters and a strong insight into understanding agency and client motivations/challenges and opportunities.
The Role: As a Cyber Inter Fusion Specialist, you will be a member of TikTok’s enterprise Threat Detection and Response and will leverage cyber threat intelligence to improve the program’s ability to detect and respond to emerging threats.
The Responsibilities: You will work with the wider team responsible for 24×7 monitoring of multiple security-related information sources to manage incidents related to cyber, privacy, and data protection for data, infrastructure, and products.
The Requirements: You will need at least five years’ of directly-related experience in computer security incident handling, strong experience with UNIX/Linux and demonstrable experience with identifying and responding to advanced threats and threat actor TTPs.
By Aisling O’Toole