Things to try at work in 2021

  1. Bravery — Say no, carefully and politely, to things that aren’t in line with your work and individual goals. That late meeting, that extra task. For agreeable people like me, this is a daily deliberate practice.
  2. Prioritise ruthlessly — Some things are critical, most aren’t. If they’re not critical, they probably won’t make any material difference, so why do them at all?
  3. Decline, drop off, delegate, delete — Take time back, you don’t need to be at every meeting, you don’t need to stay on if it’s not valuable.
  4. “does this need to be a call?” — Avoid meetings at all cost. They are high effort low return. You can almost always do it over email or chat.
  5. A-synchronous communication — Emails, memos, surveys, video recordings, audio messages. I send it when it works for me, they reply when it works for them. This is efficient.
  6. Double/Triple down on my top clients — My top clients are where we’ve built tons of trust, they have their house in order internally, they know what they want to achieve, funding secured to do it, and that we’re the only partner who can do it for them. We work at speed, we both make mistakes but we always get through it. They are customers that get the most value, and are easiest to work with.
  7. Uni-task — One thing at a time. Close slack, MS Teams, Zoom, email, etc. One task, one focus, one hour.
  8. Simplicity — You may have a genius solution for a tricky problem, but unless it’s super simple it will die. This is true for personal productivity as well as business design.
  9. Dress better — It’s time I move on from my early 2000’s wanna-be designer vibe…

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