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10 ways to get meaningful work done

(When your time is taken up with calls, meetings, emails, family, dogs, cats, plants and life admin)

You wake up, knowing exactly what you need to do today. You know what your priorities are for the day and week.


You take a look at your phone, and you have a bunch of ‘urgent’ WhatsApp’s. You check your emails and it’s the same thing.


You respond to them, so they are ‘out of the way’ and you can then get on with what you need to.


No time for the gym now, as it looks like it will be another busy day.


Right time to get on with what you need to. A reminder pops up on your laptop and phone “meeting reminder, due in 15 minutes”.


You check your diary, and you have another full day of meetings - all important but not your personal priority. It’s too late to cancel them, so you will do them today, to get them done and dusted.


While you’re in your meetings, you can see people are responding to your emails and WhatsApp’s. Emails marked with “high priority” and “Urgent” are flooding in.


Your phone is constantly ringing too. Then come the emails and messages saying “just tried to call you, please call back when you get this”.


As you have another meeting straight after, you try and get the actions complete from the last call, so you can focus on what you need to, later.


But there are constant interruptions, so it gets discarded. Half complete.


Before you know it, it’s late in the day and you have spent all day on other people’s priorities and not done anything you need to.


You’re burnt out and feel defeated.


Tomorrow is a new day. But tomorrow is the same as the day before. And the day before that.


Triggered?!


The above is often a typical working day for business owners and it can be a really tricky cycle to get out of.


Here are our top 10 tried and tested things that work, to help you get control of your day, so you can focus on what you need to:


1) Get clear on your priorities for the day and week

2) Review your schedule for the week. If there are meetings and calls in your diary that don’t help you progress with your priorities, cancel, delegate or park them

3) Clear your diary of anything that doesn’t serve your priorities

4) Push back. People can be very persuasive/demanding at times. Stay strong and push back on “urgent” meetings

5) Work offline without distractions

6) Put your Out of Office on, to manage expectations

7) Stay disciplined. It’s tempting to do something quickly to get it done. If it’s not a priority, put it down and step away

8) Ask for a clear agenda and proposed outcome of meetings, before you agree to scheduling

9) Do the worst thing first. The things that we want to do the least, are often the things we need to do the most. Stop procrastinating and get the ugly thing done first!

10) Delegate. Use the people around to you to get important tasks done and to keep things moving


The above will feel uncomfortable at first and it’s likely that people will be resistant to this way of working at first.


Drop Emilia a note (emilia@emiliapowell.co.uk) to chat through how you can implement your new productive week, so you can actual meaningful work DONE!

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