How to work

12 elements of estimating work

I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.
~ Louis E. Boone

Your personal ability to estimate work effort is directly related to your level of stress – and success! This is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the years as an employee and now as an entrepreneur.

When estimating your personal work effort, whether for a project, or just as part of your daily time management approach, consider the following 12 elements:

1. Clearly Defined Task. Make sure you understand the requirements of the task at hand. If it is for a client, boss, or team-mate, make sure you get the qualitative and quantitative criteria. For example, if you are giving a presentation: What is the allotted time? How much detail should it provide? What is the expected outcome? If you are writing a report or article: What is the topic? what is the required length? Are references and resources required?

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finding your sweet spot at work

what is a sweet spot?

Many years ago, I took a couple of golf lessons. Yep, laugh all you want, but at least I tried!  There’s one thing that stuck with me: finding the sweet spot. In golf the sweet spot is the best surface on the club face that, if you strike the ball right there, you’ll hit a beautiful drive. Yeah, right! Let’s just say I could see the sweet spot, but could not execute on the theory. Now I just like to golf on those courses with the windmills – if you know what i mean.

sweet spot for work

What I took away from that experience, was that there is a sweet spot in other areas of your life – like work. No, really. There is! Stay with me on this.

Do you feel under utilized? overworked? bored? have a general feeling of angst in your daily work? I know why… you? You’re feeling angst because you are not working in your sweet spot.

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Get RACI with collaboration

Whether you are working on a project, delivering a presentation, or just doing your daily job – having clearly defined roles and responsibilities is the number one element of success.

If you don’t believe me, ask any project manager, manager, or mother! Without clear responsibility for tasks and decisions – things don’t get done, work is not distributed to the right resources, decisions are not made, blame and stress increase, and productivity gets flushed down the drain. Not a pretty sight.

RACI – the power tool

Increase your chance of a successful collaboration but using a project management tool in all areas of your life of business. Though the first time I used this tool was for a large project, I have since used it for group work ranging from a single event with two people, to a large cross functional multi year project. It’s called the RACI chart. Not it’s not RACY (as in risque) but R.A.C.I.

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