View Full Version : Doing predefined work
04-09-2007, 08:16 AM
Cri de coeur. I had a tough day today. I know Monday is a busy day so try not to schedule a lot. Today I had only one appointment scheduled - internal meeting with employees. Came to office. Got a call from my boss and got to unexpected meeting where I had to spend 3 hours. So had to move employees meeting that I anyway attended (another 2 hours). A small break for a late lunch and here I am - processing my inboxes to get new tasks onboard. :) I'm lucky I put a hard edge on leaving the office so I can have time for sports in the evening and my family.
No time for doing predefined work at all! :) And that tends to repeat from day to day. Is there any way to survive in such a "important-meetings-can't-cancel" world??!
04-09-2007, 09:49 AM
Is there any way to survive in such a "important-meetings-can't-cancel" world??!
Hardly. Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven.
04-10-2007, 02:35 AM
Oh, Eugene, you really do have too much to do, I'm afraid. You need to renegotiate with your boss, who needs to understand that either you can be at his beck and call for meetings and whatever, in which case he'd better give you an assistant, or you get to do your predefined work and attend a reasonable amount of meetings booked in advance, in which case he needs to employ a colleague for you or an assistant for himself.
Hardly. Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven.
This says it all, really. If you can't renegotiate your workload with your boss, then you either put up with it, or go into business for yourself.
04-10-2007, 07:40 AM
Got a call from my boss and got to unexpected meeting where I had to spend 3 hours.
So had to move employees meeting that I anyway attended (another 2 hours).
A small break for a late lunch and here I am - processing my inboxes to get new tasks onboard.
No time for doing predefined work at all! :)
Assuming your work day is 8 hours.
Unplanned Boss's meeting 3 hours
Employees meeting 2 hours
Remaining time 3 hours? 3 1/2 hours? (due to short lunch)
Suggestions: It sounds like you control the employees meeting since you moved it. You may want to examine how often it is held, how long it needs to be and what you are accomplishing in this meeting. If you are getting two hours of work done in this meeting, then this is two hours of predefined work. If this wastes 1 1/2 hours, see what you can do to get it closer to only containing the 1/2 hour of core value.
Even if you don't control this meeting, if you have valid recommendations to improve its value and/or shorten it, I'd make them.
In the unexpected meeting, what level of involvement is required? Do you have to attend in person or can you participate on a conference bridge from your office? Is there anything in your lists that you can bring with you to do during any down time - for example, read a document during a five minute break that inevitably becomes a 15 minute break? Is it a meeting that you can get value out of if you participate in it fully and by being present in the moment?
You still have 3 - 3/12 hours to process your inboxes, get things into your GTD system and do predefined work. Even if you spend an hour on your inboxes and GTD system and an hour on administrative/social activities, you've got 1 - 1 1/2 hours to do predefined work. I agree that it's not the 4 to 4 1/2 hours you thought you'd have when you came in, but it's not nothing. The more you can minimize the time you spend processing your inboxes and other Admin activities, the more of the 3 - 3 1/2 hours can be used for preplanned work.
Suggestions: Try to process inboxes and get things into your GTD system as quickly as possible, perhaps making the 2 minutes rule, the one minutes rule. Don't let yourself get sidetracked. Try to minimize interruptions. Identify where you think you can get the most value from lists in the 1 1/2 hours you have and go for it. If you stay focused you may find you can get a lot more done than you expect.
04-10-2007, 01:00 PM
My main problem is actually unexpected key-customers meetings and boss meetings. All the rest I can control more or less. But the number of customer meetings that I have to run grow and grow. Tomorrow I will have 6 :) My work day is only 7 hours (plus 3,5 - 4 hours of commute time driving both ways). So I can "book" 1 hour for processing plus 1 hour for doing predefined work. That will give me 4-5 hours of meetings time. Do you think I should block off processing time and deoing time in this situation? If book what's the best time: when coming or when leaving? Or maybe something else?
04-10-2007, 01:07 PM
My main problem is actually unexpected key-customers meetings and boss meetings.
Why customer and boss meetings are unexpected? Can't you manage the meetings schedule? Are you working in technical support or emergency unit?
04-11-2007, 11:12 AM
I'm in sales. I look after VIPs and have about 30 of them. They call me and I have to meet this day or another because they're important and it's only me who knows what they need. They want to talk only with me. The owners (bosses - not a boss) call me anytime without any schedule to get an update (exchange some important information) or correct a short-term strategy. The situation in our business changes daily. So I have to meet them not regulary, it could be once per week or three times a day... Any ideas?