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5 Steps to Get Back on Track at Work

Although the restrictions are still changing and the future still feels uncertain for many of us, I’m hearing more and more people saying that it’s time to get back to it. Whatever ‘it’ is. Probably not back to normal, probably not back to a new normal, but certainly back to feeling focused and productive.

This might not be new to you, but it's always a great place to start.

Step One

Draw out a time matrix – you’ve probably seen this before, but if you want more information about the model, click here. Add in the things you’ve been doing this week as well as the things you could / should have been doing this week.

Step Two

Review where you’ve been spending your time recently. From the conversations I’ve been having, I’d guess that you’ve mostly been in either Q1 or Q4 since lockdown started. I understand that most of that has not been through choice.

Step Three

Edit your matrix. Move things around and add anything you’ve been meaning / wanting to do, but haven’t got around to thinking about yet. Does everything in Q1 need to be there? Really? Is everything in Q2 in the right place? Is there anything else that could go in to Q2? Note that Q2 should be filled with anything you consider important – not just work-wise, but anything important for your health, mental health, relationships or happiness.

Step Four

Schedule everything in Q2 first. Get out your calendar and decide when you can work on your Q2 items. If we don’t do this, we’ll end up spending our time on everything else. Make sure you don’t completely fill your calendar though, or you won’t have time for anything in Q1 that needs done. If your Q1 tasks can be scheduled, schedule them too. If they just need to happen when they need to happen, allow enough free-time in your calendar so that you can move your Q2 blocks around.

Step Five

Make a point of reviewing your time matrix regularly. Keep asking yourself if you’re spending your time on the right things. Keep scheduling Q2 items and keep aiming to delegate or delete anything else.

I hope this has helped you to re-focus. Leave a comment to share your thoughts.


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