"Who needs systems?? I have it under control!!"

Does anyone remember the size of a Big Mac meal at McDonalds say 15-20 years ago?? I do.

It was massive!! Does anyone remember your parent's old vacuum cleaner back in the day? (i.e. Hoover) It worked well for ages!!

Does anyone appreciate time spent with friends at a beach or park without having a mobile phone by your side taking pictures of the beach or park and sharing with your friends?? Wait a minute. That moment we spend enjoying life as humans now must be shared with the world?? Seems like a lot of work and offers no chance to truly reflect. " I'd rather hear what others have to say about this experience I'm having at this exact moment...and I can't wait for the response : )" Louis CK reflects on this habit very well in this link.

All these queries highlight a key fundamental issue with the modern world we live in today: We want more for less and the ability to appreciate quality and contentment is tested more and more. This article could debate countless topics on the matter however in an effort to offer clarity we will discuss our favourite topic of all; the workplace. (Bit of a boring topic to start the year however come mid Feb we will be at the office for the majority of our time. Why not reflect on what's possible to make that time more rewarding, enjoyable and productive right?)

Little Known Facts:

  • Approximately 1/3 of the workforce perceives themselves as overworked. (Varies in country & region however the general consensus is we are now always connected and BUSY. It's no joke that the common introductory phrasing or 'meet and greet' in Western Australia is as follows. "How you going. Ya Busy?" To this end it's just the same as saying, "hello, how are you doing?" Unfortunately when the question is asked I have to ask myself... "hmm, am I busy?" YES!! : )
  • E-mail Trauma: 22% are expected to respond to work e-mail when they're not at work. On a brighter note companies in Germany are now purposefully deleting e-mails sent and received via mobile over the weekend. The objective here is to protect the company and employees.
  • 50% check work e-mail on the weekends.
  • 60% check work e-mail on sick days.
  • 77% of workers feel burned out while on the job.
  • 85.8% of males and 66.5% of females work more than 40 hours a week.

What's the issue?:

In today's world we are asked as consumers and clients to want to purchase "MORE VALUE" for "LESS MONEY$$". The market will now lend itself toward delivering to the consumer a product or service which is "LESS MONEY" however "LOWER QUALITY". Perception will be that the market is delivering higher value however this will not always be the case. We should state here that these are generalist statements and do not apply to any one company or industry. I'm merely trying to paint a picture which most will already know. Unfortunately all consumers have jobs just the same. In the workplace we are asked to do more for less so the consumer can have "MORE for LESS". Sounds like a viscous cycle where the risks placed on maintaining high quality are in a compromised position.

How do we solve this issue?:

The first step in solving any issue is first recognising the "issue" in the first place. Working more than 40 hour work weeks is not normal. Checking e-mail while sick at home on the toilet is "NOT NORMAL". Expecting to return a voice mail call within 5 minutes of receiving it is "NOT NORMAL".

The second step in resolving the issue is working out a system to manage your time. We all know the importance of goal setting. We must also know the importance of goal alignment. You may have a goal to "run an hour every morning" however the placement of this goal compromises with your goal to "read an hour every morning". Pretty soon your time will run out and you'll have little to show for it. All have seen this time and time again, however most of us find it difficult to implement in our day to day hectic lives:

SMART Goals are - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely

This forms the core for personal, organisational goal and task setting which if applied correctly will inherently resolve the resource issue, i.e. enough time will be allocated to achieve goals and targets set before you.

Systems

Let's now view a new system of task, goal and resource management in a workplace environment which attempts to solve the "busy bee" syndrome:

  • Utlise a cloud based task / goal setting management system that allows all team members to see each others goals and targets day by day / week by week. www.asana.com
  • Ensure to value your precious time and keep track honestly with focus. www.getharvest.com In Harvest you have the option to use the stop watch feature which I truly love! If you are working for a client and on a specific task to achieve an outcome isn't it good for your client to know that when you hit "start clock" you are focused on his / her task?? (You are less likely to switch or be detracted to other multi tasking ventures with this set-up. Note the beauty of Havest for us is it works with Asana.
  • Harvest has another great tool called Forecast which allows your entire team an opportunity to see a visual breakdown of where time is forecasted to be spent. The red clearly shows we have overbooked someone and as such need to respond to the resource shortfall. https://www.getharvest.com/forecast
  • 3 tools used seamlessly to simplify workflow and task management.

Welcome to the Modern Workforce where more is expected of you. Old rules still apply.

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!" - Benjamin Franklin

Key Takeaways for Achieving Extraordinary Results with effective time, goal and resource management:

  • Our lives are too short to be flustered and over-worked.
  • Having clarity of goals and tasks will lead to greater results for both team member and company. (Mutually beneficial)
  • Having clear goal and task setting systems in place in the workforce is very likely to carry over to our personal day to day lives. Balance across all our areas of life inclusive of health, family, fitness, knowledge, spirit, etc. are very important to our well being.

If you would like to learn more about our current Resource Management and Task / Goal setting skills at Froster Engineering out of interest I'm happy to take this conversation offline and discuss via Skype or over a coffee.

I'm passionate about creating a work environment which is both rewarding, productive, positive and without unecessary stress. In order to meet our goals in offering fully collaborative, sustainable engineering design we must focus on this core element as a fundamental principal going forward. As Director of Froster Engineering, it is my commitment that this be the key aim that drives our vision. We would like to work with others in the industry that share this same vision as well.

Feel free to contact me direct at +61 405 640 016 or Skype: jeff.froster

I'd better run. I'm running late for my next meeting....

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Jeff Froster
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