Workshops/Soft Skills Development Series/Decision-Making


Workshop Information

Do you often feel like you are spinning your wheels at work? Do you have so much to do that it seems impossible to get anything done? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the volume of emails, tasks, and meetings in your work day? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then this workshop is for you! We all know that being more effective and efficient at work can help us be happier and more fulfilled in our jobs. The problem is that for many of us, our current job environments aren’t setup to support effectiveness and efficiency. We keep doing things the same old way because that’s what we know how to do. But staying stuck in a pattern of unproductive habits isn’t good for anyone.


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A brief reminder: Why being effective and efficient at work matters

One of the goals of any organisation is to get the best possible results with the resources it has available. This is true for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies, as well as for people working in any kind of organisational setting. Having the ability to manage time well, set priorities, manage distractions, and stay focused on key goals is a necessary skill for anyone who wants to be successful. But it’s also one that many people struggle with. Being more effective and efficient at work will help you get more done with less stress, have more time at the end of the day, have less to do tomorrow, and feel better about your work. You’ll be able to take on higher-impact tasks without feeling overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to focus your attention on the most important things. It’s a win-win!

What does effective AND efficient actually look like?

One of the challenges of being more effective and efficient at work is that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s not like you can just follow a few steps, and then you’re set for life. Instead, being more effective and efficient requires constant attention to one’s own work environment and ways of working. It’s an ongoing process of observation, reflection, and experimentation. This is especially true if you want to be effective while also being efficient. Getting more done while working less hard is possible, but it takes some attention to detail. You have to be smart about how you’re spending your time, the tasks you’re spending your time on, the tools you’re using to support your work, and more. In general, being effective means you’re completing tasks and meeting goals that are important to you, for the people you work with and for, and that are aligned with your values. Being efficient means you’re spending your time in ways that allow you to get the most done with the least amount of effort.

Decide what’s most important to you

The first step toward being more effective and efficient at work is deciding what your priorities are. This doesn’t just mean deciding what’s on your to-do list for the day, but also thinking about what the long-term goals you want to be working toward are. What are the things that, if you accomplished them, would make your work experience better? What would make your job easier, more enjoyable, and more fulfilling? What would help your organisation be more successful? What would help you get promoted or earn a higher salary? What would help you and your team members be happier?

Identify your current habits

It’s really hard to change something if you don’t know what you’re trying to change. So the first step in deciding on new habits is to identify the current ones. Some questions you can ask yourself to identify your current habits are: -
  • What do I do when I get to work each day?
  • How do I handle meetings?
  • How do I handle email?
  • How do I decide which tasks to work on?
  • How do I decide when I’m done working for the day?
  • How do I use my time outside of work?

Decide on a habit change you want to make

Now that you’ve identified your current habits, you can think about the ones you’d like to change. This isn’t something you need to do in one sitting, though. You can take your time, exploring different options and coming up with a few options you think would be helpful. Once you have a few habit changes you’d like to make, it’s time to prioritise them. You can use a decision-making tool like the Eisenhower Decision-Making Method to help you decide which habit changes to focus on first.

Build your accountability expectation for the habit change you’ve decided on

Once you’ve decided on a habit change to make and you’ve built your expectation of success around that change, you need to build your accountability. Accountability is the expectation that you will follow through on the habit change you’ve decided on and will hold yourself responsible for doing so. There are multiple ways to build your accountability for your habit change, including: -

Mentor or coach relationship: Find someone who works in the same field or has expertise in the habit change you’ve decided on, and who is willing to meet with you regularly to check in on your progress and help you stay accountable

Check-in groups: Find a few people who are interested in making the same habit change as you and forming a group to check in with each other regularly and hold each other accountable

Public declaration: Let people know what habit change you’re committing to and ask them to check in with you regularly about your progress

Wrapping up

If you want to be more effective and efficient at work, it’s going to take some planning, attention to detail, and effort on your part. You can’t just wait for someone else to come along and solve all your problems for you. Instead, you need to take the initiative to figure out how to do things better. You don’t need to be an expert at time management or productivity. It doesn’t matter where you start as long as you start somewhere. All you need to do is decide what’s important to you, identify your current habits, decide on a habit change you want to make, build your accountability expectation for the habit change you’ve decided on, and then get to work!