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The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day

Handling Reactionary Work

Reactionary work can be distracting and take up most of our time. Blocking time for certain activities like responding to email or replying to text messages may help.

Remember that reactionary work seems urgent but is not important at that moment.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day

The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day

https://99u.adobe.com/articles/7151/the-5-types-of-work-that-fill-your-day

99u.adobe.com

7

Key Ideas

Reactionary Work

Reactionary work is the stuff that we do out of a reaction, like picking a phone because it is ringingChecking email, replying to a text message, is all reactionary work. It is a necessary evil.

Reactionary work can be distracting and take up most of our time. Blocking time for certain activities like responding to email or replying to text messages may help.

Planning Work

Planning work is time spent on listing, prioritizing and scheduling your work. 

Planning helps us become efficient in our execution. Thus, allocating special time for planning work is crucial. Proactive planning can be exceptionally productive and beneficial in the long run.

Procedural Work

It is the stuff we have to do, like writing a check to pay our bills, preparing our tax returns, or even making a daily report.

Procedural work is best tackled by technology: automation minimizes the time spent and errors generated in any procedural work.

Insecurity Work

Insecurity work is our dip-checks, drills and monitoring the health of our business, making sure everything is normal.

Insecurity work can be compartmentalized into chosen time periods every day, maybe just 30 minutes at the end of each day.

Problem-Solving Work

Our creativity is in its full potential in problem-solving work. This requires our brainpower, focus, and attention.

Fully Engaged Work

Problem-solving work is only possible in a distraction-free zone, away from the ringing phones and notifications.

If the problem you're working on is of genuine interest, then there is real engagement and exceptional results will follow.

Handling Reactionary Work

Reactionary work can be distracting and take up most of our time. Blocking time for certain activities like responding to email or replying to text messages may help.

Remember that reactionary work seems urgent but is not important at that moment.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

David Collis - Harvard Business School professor

“Most executives cannot articulate the objective, scope, and advantage of their business in a simple statement. If..."

David Collis - Harvard Business School professor
Invite Dissent To Build Others’ Commitment

An executive needs those she leads to translate strategic insights into choices that drive results. For people to commit to carrying out an executive’s strategic thinking, they have to both understand and believe in it. But repeated explanations don’t necessarily increase people’s understanding and ownership of strategy. Making them discuss the pros and cons of it make it so the problem is better understood and flaws are identified and fixed increasing ownership for success.

Identify The Strategic Requirements Of The Job

When someone is promoted into a function that requires strategic leadership it’s easy to spend time fixing what was wrong in their previous function but that often isn’t what the strategic leadership position requires. So, identify the strategic requirements of your job and focus on them.

one more idea

Adopt GTD Methodology in Email

think of every email you get as either something you need to take action on, track, or refer to later. 

Every time you open a conversation, decide right away what to do with it. D...

Create an Email Productivity System

There’s no “definitive” system. The best framework is the one that works for you. Ideally, it should model your work style, supporting the way you work. Bonus points if it’s low-maintenance, fast to set up, and adaptable as your work changes.

Some people like to use folders with specific actions (do, delegate, reply), while others prefer the deadline-driven approach (today, tomorrow, next week).

Power Up Your Email with Plugins

Some examples:

  • Undo Send: for when you accidentally press the send button.
  • Canned Responses: create a template that you can reuse with canned responses.
  • Send and Archive: Automatically archive an email after replying to it using the send and archive button.

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Negotiable job requirements

Apart from jobs in academic professions, like medicine or law, job requirements are largely negotiable — you just have to prove that you can bring value to the table.

People who aren’t...

Impostor syndrome as a good thing

Embrace that feeling of inadequacy.

The combination of believing that you can get to almost wherever you want to be, having discipline, and having insecurity about where you are is the formula for a successful, impactful career.

What’s “realistic” for you
... is entirely predicated on what you’ve been exposed to. There are so many things in life you take for granted that someone else would think is crazy and unrealistic.

Work alongside the best in your field, read their books, listen to their interviews, study what they did to get where they are — and eventually, those crazy unrealistic dreams will become realistic for you.

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Balancing shallow and deep work
Balancing shallow and deep work
  • What should be done when your team's "shallow work" is just as important as their "deep work"?
  • How do you empower your team to find a balance between small improvements and general m...
The Hero Role
  • Each month one person on each product team becomes the "Hero." Their primary responsibilities are to communicate with their support team and take care of smaller improvements.
  • The Hero should be able to focus entirely on their support duties. They're not assigned to any other product development work during that month.
  • Being attentive to the support team and users means the Hero is unlikely to block off 4 hours or more of deep work, but it will enable everyone else on the team to do so.
  • Being so close to user's requests and feedback gives the Hero a unique perspective into their problems and struggles.
Housekeeping Days

Each member of the team (except the Hero) spends one day per week on Housekeeping. It gives them time to focus on small but important tasks.

Housekeeping is a personal day. If the Hero hasn't explicitly asked for help on an issue, people can choose which tasks they want to work on. Sometimes this time is used to learn something new related to current or upcoming work.

one more idea

Getting an early start
Getting an early start

Plan your morning the night before and stick to your plan. 
If a new task comes in that isn’t 100% urgent, designate a time that you’ll work on it uninterrupted or try to delegate the probl...

Deciding where to work
  • If you know you’re more likely to work from home, invest in comfortable furniture; you feel good it will inspire you to get work done.
  • If you want to join a local co-working space but are intimidated by the price point, ask about smaller memberships to start.
Prioritizing tasks

Don’t let your skepticism about productivity hacks get in the way of finding a technique that suits you and helps you get things done.
If you’re still having a hard time identifying priorities, try working backward by identifying work that’s definitely not a priority. Eliminate those items and assess what’s left.

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Note prioritization
Note prioritization

Most common reasons to search through old notes:

  • Figuring out who is supposed to do what
  • Revisiting/clarifying decisions made
  • Looking for greater context on requir...
Must-Capture notes in meetings
  • Action Items: to-dos, tasks, action requests etc. These will serve as the foundation to keep everyone aligned and moving forward.
  • Decisions: Clearly defining the outcome and decision agreed to by the group is essential.
  • Requirements/Specifications: Sometimes they pop up unexpectedly in the midst of conversation, but they’re important to document.
Honing your note taking strategies during meetings
  • Create an agenda, to be able to better control the pace of the meeting and plan for the likely key notetaking moments.
  • Take notes in advance: Write your key discussion points to present in advance.
  • Prepare your note-taking tools.
  • Prepare the setting before the meeting, especially before video calls: being able to hear everyone = better notes.
  • Block 10 minutes after the meeting, to clean up your notes, add details where there may be gaps, and delete notes that turn out to have no value.
The Investor

People who invest are those who love the risk, trade frequently and have enough confidence to think they will beat the market.

A 2011 study found out that most investors u...

The Big Spender

The Big Spenders like to make social statements by having the latest car, clothes, or phones. They use the money for love and attention and are the main representatives of consumerism.

Advice: Think twice before making a purchase and try to filter the things that you really need from those bought by reflex.

The Ostrich

The Ostrich is someone who would rather bury their heads in the sand than organize their finances. 

Advice: Ostriches should try to take slowly their heads out of the sand. They should try to examine their finances, take a close look at a better saving rate and consider approaching a financial planner.

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The most desired changes
The most desired changes

The so-called 'I can't wait!' change refers to the situation when you are excited about taking on a new job, getting married and all these big changes that you decide to undergo thr...

The necessary changes

The "I know I have to" beginnings are a bit more challenging to handle than the desired ones. This is mainly because we do the changes as we need to instead of actually wanting them.

These situations require courage, determination as well as building up a plan in steps about how to accomplish the change that needs to finally happen.

The forced change

This is the " Please don't make me do this" type of change.

Change can come both from inside and outside oneself. However, when somebody or something forces a change upon us, we tend to perceive the experience as being painful. Moreover, if we are prone to depression, it can actually put our health at risk. The best two ways to cope with this kind of situation is by either seeking professional help or starting to plan our recovery.

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There are 4 strong personalities...

...that stand out for their ability, both positively and negatively, to impact team dynamics, especially when it comes to meetings: the Challengers, the Analyzers, the Implementers and th...

The Challengers

The big idea people, who love going against convention. They are the people that blurt out mid meeting "This is a stupid idea. I've got something better we can try instead."

They can deliver the great idea that unsticks a team's thinking, but when the team has been developing that other idea for a long time, and some team members are deeply invested in the work that's already been done,  the team dynamics can quickly sour.

The Analyzers

The content experts, analyzers don't know everything, but what they do know, they know extremely well.

When a team is dealing with a challenge that matches the Analyzer's area of expertise, you're on the path to solve the problem. But when the team focus strays from the Analyzer's areas of expertise, they get bored, lose interest, often affecting a dismissive attitude that can drag down other team members.

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The Planning Fallacy

We all have busy schedules, but we are incorrectly planning our day around the time we have, not around priorities.

Our estimates on how long certain tasks will take are almost always ...

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important."
The 4 Kinds of Priorities

The Decision Matrix on how to approach tasks has 4 quadrants:

  • Quadrant 1: The Urgent Problems which are important.
  • Quadrant 2: Not Urgent but important tasks
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but not really important
  • Quadrant  4: Distractions and time-wasting tasks. 

Prioritize the important (Quadrant 2) to attain maximum benefit from your work.

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