No one likes spinning their wheels at work or being head-down with busywork that turns out not to matter later. Cutting out the cruft and trimming back your workload can be easy though — all you need to do is set expectations, then live up to them. Here's how to do both with two emails a week.
Picture: Carlos Pacheco/Flickr
Project manager Robbie Abed explains over at his blog that all it took was two emails to cut his massive, 60+ hour per week workload down to a more manageable 40 — and as a former project manager myself, I can vouch for this completely — email at the beginning of the week (or whatever reporting period you choose) to set expectations with your boss or anyone else with a stake in what you're doing. Do the work you promised, and, when you do, send a follow-up at the end of the week that outlines how you met each of the goals you set out to achieve at the beginning of the week. It's that simple.
Of course, this doesn't mean you won't have to put out fires or deal with new priorities as they pop up over the course of the week, but we've mentioned before that setting expectations early is key to your success, and to managing your overall workload. Priorities change all the time, but it's empowering to say "I will do this", and then come back and report "I did what I said I would." It's also great ammunition for performance reviews and project reviews, where you can easily look back over your work for successes, lessons learnt and accomplishments.
Hit the link below to read more about Abed's method, and some sample language you might consider in your emails if you pick up this method.
How to Go From Working 60 Hours a Week to 40 By Sending 2 Emails a Week [Fire Me, I Beg You via LinkedIn]