The Three Rules of Effective Time Allocation

Is your job like a never-ending game of “mole hunting”?

According to a report published by McKinsey & Company, office workers spend 28% of their day reading, writing, or responding to emails. We’ve all heard the advice – prioritizing the content of all the emails or tasks in your inbox will go a long way. But what if it’s not?

Ed Batista, who is an executive trainer and lecturer at Stanford Business School, recently wrote to the Harvard Business Review that most efficient people don’t prioritize everything – they sort the important things and then toss the other trivial ones right out of the way.

In an emergency, Battiste says, doctors sort and select patients for treatment, determining who is critical, who can wait, and who is fine to be left alone altogether. In the business world, categorical selection consists of two groups – prioritizing the important things and “generously tossing aside all the trivial ones. “

When we prioritize everything, the parts we think are important are prioritized, and the less important are put on the back burner. But in reality, it’s an open-ended “back”.

On the contrary, he believes that our time and energy are limited resources. No matter how much effort or time is spent in the office, leaders and others will never reach a state of balance that satisfies both sides of the equation. So Baptiste suggests that leaders set a tipping point for themselves: choose the content that is worthy of their time and effort, and reject the rest.

Admittedly, this is a difficult approach, but Baptiste says that we must buy time for the important parts. Otherwise, we’ll find that in the end it was all for nothing. While it sounds a bit harsh, he says, if we think too much about people’s reactions or worry about leaving an image of indifference, it leads to spending most of our time on the insignificant.

There is only a thin line between doing well and doing poorly for the way the categories are chosen. Battiste says that many of us just worry that we’ll cross that line and not do a good job, so we never try.

Battiste offers 3 rules to help us allay our fears.

  1. Redefining the never-ending work list

In reality, you will never be able to do all the work on the list, answer all the emails, or accept all the invitations. For this situation, keep a calm mind. It’s not a sign of failure, Battiste says, but rather a sign of success. “(Because) other people are looking at our time and energy yah! “Instead of trying to `empty’ the inbox. Try to create an inbox that is no longer full of important emails.

  1. Focus your efforts on the tipping point.

Always remind yourself, do not prioritize everything, but adhere to their bottom line: choose the most important part of their own can, the other trivial are ignored it.

  1. Others are not satisfied, their own satisfaction

Baptiste says that we don’t expect everyone to be satisfied. In order to be efficient in sorting and choosing, we must learn to say “no” in our hearts, without compromising on what is important.