Simplification is also a useful strategy in a context where disruption, change and distraction is prevalent. The cost of these things on productivity, and cognitive load is high.
Simplification in work can look like a number of things. Consider the work of Jane a project manager. To her simplification might include:
- Dedicating blocks of the day (i.e. the first few hours of each day or all day Tuesday) to certain projects and/or tasks
- Delegating tasks that are not essential during critical phases of the project
- Creating a series of templates for reporting and/or tasks which need reporting regularly
- Batching other “unlike” tasks to certain times of the day when she can move quickly from task to task, without feeling like it is getting in the way of deeper work
Other team members might include these items on their list of simplification:
- Unsubscribing from lists that are not of interest anymore
- Dedicating certain blocks of time to social media
- Dedicating a certain day of the week to a focus on certain tasks – i.e. professional development or networking
During times of change, consistency also plays an important role. This can include consistency of message, consistency of touchpoints, and consistency of focus.
Consistency of message can include reinforcing key messages in several channels - so sharing something in a team meeting, then following up a day or two later with an email, and also reinforcing in a 1-1 conversation.
Consistency of touchpoints can involve letting people know that each month you’ll be scheduling a 1-1 with them for 30 minutes. This can help to get people into the regular routine of meeting and noting their key issues of discussion.
Consistency of focus is not always easy to achieve. This might involve helping the team focus in on certain key tasks, while minimizing others until the bigger projects are completed. It could also involve dedicating certain team members to certain projects, and having other team members focus on a different, unrelated task.
What are that things you can do to create more simplification and consistency in your work?
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2019) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
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