If you feel stuck in a job rut it is likely because you are failing at the imperative, “Get The RIGHT THINGS Done”. [Source:  world famous author and management consultant to just about every important company we know of, Peter Drucker.]  Even common sense dictates, “Get the RIGHT THINGS Done”.  Okay, so how do we do that?

  1. Develop a report card, measuring tool, or other criteria which will enable you to decide the important “things” that must get done.
  2. Consider events that may arise in the course of a business day, phone calls, emails, drop ins, for example, but don’t just jump at them. Screen them according to your criteria for point 1 above.
  3. Apply to your workplace what I describe as my “pond” analogy . Drop a pebble at each end of the pond simultaneously to witness the intersection of opposite travelling waves. Those in phase would build. Those out of phase would cancel. Companies have plenty of in-phase and out-of-phase activities. Be sure to work on those “in-phase” activities and responsibilities. Don’t do them, or if demanded by some out-of-phase manager who can affect your career, try to negotiate it into a form-factor that might be useful.
  4. Reduce the filters through which important information is reaching you. Instead of having problem-account reports filtered from sales rep to managers to  Executive VP who uses bits of it to brief the CEO, it might be a better for the CEO to have a face-to-face with the problem account. That way nothing is lost in the “interpretation”.
  5. Beware of data overload of useless or very-low value data. Don’t spend time re-formatting. Use data, as much as possible, in its original form. Remember it has to be effective not pretty.
  6. Eradicate any data you don’t need? Stop it at the source so you don’t even have to handle it, click on it, even deleting it is a wasted step.
  7. After having received “basic” data on an issue, use common sense before requesting more in-depth or detailed statistical studies.   My favorite example is the endless stream of studies demanded by city councils, each study at huge costs and waste of tax dollars.
  8. Learn to eliminate very low-value processes.
  9. If you suck at something, find someone else who excels at it. Then you can either delegate it, if you have the authority to do so, convince your manager to re-assign it to someone who has the skill, or enlist skilful help if you can’t move it off your plate.
  10. If something does not fit with your objectives, goals, etc., or it does not align with the project, corporate direction, etc., then simply say, “No”, if you have the authority to do so. [Be nice about it..decline with compassion and respect.] Drucker writes in a number of his works, about the need to abandon activities which misdirect resources.
  11. Meetings often are a big factor affecting a broad range of workers and often slow the process of getting “The RIGHT THINGS Done”. Attend only the meetings that are necessary to your objectives and company objectives and hold the organizers to a rigid agenda including starting and ending on time.