Questions to Ask For More Effective Work
We work around one-third of our waking hours. But, is the time well spent? If we were more effective with our working time, could we work less? The following are some questions to ask ourselves so we can be more efficient with our working hours.
Questions to Ask Before Starting Work
- What needs to be done?
Often times we do what we find fun or what we want to do– not what needs to be done. A great book on this topic is Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.
- How can I best contribute to the goals of the company?
We don’t always have the skill set or position to do everything that needs to be done. Instead, we should focus on the intersection of what needs to be done and our ability to do it.
- What tools or resources do I need to complete what needs to be done in the most effective way possible?
To be truly effective, we must leverage tools and resources to do the things that need to be done.
Questions to Ask During Focus Work
- What would this look like if it were easy?
We often try to implement a complicated solution when a simple solution will do. This question helps us to focus on finding the simple solution.
Questions to Ask During Meetings
- What is the goal of this meeting?
The goal of the meeting should be stated at the start. How we are going to get to that goal should be stated in the form of an agenda. When conversations deviate from the goal, the meeting leader should guide the conversation back.
- What is my role in this meeting? What are the roles of others?
There are many roles in each meeting: knowledge expert, decision maker, note taker, coordinator, etc. If it is not implicitly obvious at the start of the meeting, roles should be established.
- What meeting format best fits the goal?
Meetings can be long or short. They can have anywhere from two to infinite attendees. They can occur ad hoc at someone’s desk or in a fancy meeting room. The style can be presentational or more conversational. The format determines how easily the meeting goal will be met.
P.S. This post was inspired by a book I highly recommend, The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker.
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