Archive for the ‘Efficiency’ Category

It’s Monday afternoon and you have just recovered from Monday morning blues! It is time to get back to work with full force and make a difference!

There is one problem – you have this second thought in your mind – am I really making a difference? Is my job and my years of hard work creating any value for the company and in turn for me? And as you start sorting out these thoughts, your Monday afternoon productivity has taken a dive already. However, you are not alone in this world having these doubts. This is normal. There are probably a million people in the United States alone who have this thought every Monday.

This thought is even more prevalent during this economic downturn when many employees feel obligated to prove their relevance in the company. So what should you be doing? Remember, like all management theories, there is no silver bullet. There are several keys to success, most important ones being patience and perseverance.

Create Value at your workplace – not for one day but every day! Infuse some enthusiasm in you and your colleagues. Here are some things you can start trying tomorrow when you walk-in to your office.

  1. Death by Meeting – how many times you have attended a meeting where you felt you were not providing any value or you felt disassociated with the subject? Next time when you get invited to a meeting, reach out to the host and clarify the purpose and your role in advance. Then prepare accordingly – you don’t have to go buy books for that. Read relevant information on your company’s intranet, talk to other colleagues about it and when nothing else works – Google it! So in the upcoming meeting, walk in like a smart individual and share your wealth of knowledge with the other invitees. You will see people will start respecting your point of view.
  2. Socialize and not gossip – you have just come out of a meeting with a great idea and a list of action items. The project you and your colleagues have been working on is going to bring great value for your company. Top management knows it but besides them it is an unknown entity. Don’t stop there. Create wow internally. Water Cooler talk, lunch time conversation, hallway conversations, message on intranet – use all these tools to socialize the idea and its importance. Don’t brag about it but educate and inform your colleagues. And again, your co-workers will start seeing you as an important source of information while management will view this as a great effort to collaborate.
  3. The Need of a new idea – many management gurus talk about innovation and often people associate innovation with a new idea. I have a different take on it. Statistically, only 15% of human beings on this planet have the genes to be exclusively creative. Majority of them are artists of some sort. When it comes down to corporate innovation, the number is probably down to 5% or something. I am not saying don’t develop new ideas, but the concept is don’t over work yourself on it. There is a merit to taking an existing idea and putting it into execution. Make it successful for your customers, your company, your colleagues and yourself! Not everyone who can think of a new idea can make it happen. You can be the “make it happen” person.
  4. Time sharing is not only for vacations – you have a long list of emails in your mailbox. Then there is a laundry list of items from home. Your manager has asked you for 10 high priority deliverables. And the constraint is – you have one soul! There are several things which are wrong with this picture. I am not going to touch the domestic affairs but when it comes to work I am also swamped with millions of things which I took upon myself. There cannot be 10 high priorities in anyone’s work. It’s math, it’s logic! Even your manager cannot handle 10 high priorities. So learn to distribute or re-prioritize. Share the time with other colleagues who may not be as swamped as you are. Believe me, every organization has some. Just look around your office.

These are 4 simple techniques that don’t require extensive training. Try to make them a habit and spread your influence by creating value for yourself and others!

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I am not a salesman or an executive who has to run a company (yet!) but when I see an average of 80 emails in my mailbox daily, I wonder about information clutter. So I talked to a bunch of my colleagues and found out what I am going to write here is a common phenomenon. We all suffer from the email overflow!

It begins with corporate announcements (about 10%) which I read selectively based on the subject or when someone in the cafeteria is talking about it (those I have to restore from Trash). Another 10% comes from reminders for deadlines or admin stuff which we should normally remember. This is a representation of how committed people are to their own plans. Sad but true – hence the email! 

Then there is a good 40% in which I am copied as FYI. Three words for the team – “just fix it”. So far 60% of the emails are about 25% effective but consume a good portion of my morning schedule. Now the remaining 40% are the interesting ones. This is where I have to really pay attention.

5% Emails highlighted in Blue are from the boss

3% Emails highlighted in Yellow are from his boss or higher

25% Pink emails are from my clients. Yes pink because I find pink to be a soothing color. Red was the original color of choice.

 As for the last 8% that’s mostly travel notifications. For my kind of job you need those – from one airport to another and another!

So are we email obsessed? Check this out



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