3 Vital Steps To Get Your Work Done Effectively

If you wish to complete your work effectively, you must ensure your schedule supports this goal. That is, you must ensure your time is allocated accordingly. Most specifically, you’ll need blocks of time for three main steps.

Step 1: Preparation

Going about your work willy-nilly is utterly ineffective. Taking time to plan and prepare your work is smart. This may sound obvious. But with the number of people that don’t allocate any time to prepare their work, I believe the importance of preparation warrants being stressed.

Make preparing your work part of your daily routine. Preparation time also includes the time you spend thinking through your quarterly and weekly goals.

Preparation isn’t something you do once in a while. It’s something you should integrate to your work habits.

Step 2: Execution

You’ve planned your work. Now, you must do the work. That’s execution. This is really the core of your “getting-things-done” system. Without execution, all the preparation is useless (and the next step can’t happen).

As a general rule, the bulk of your time should be spent executing: doing the activities that get results.

When it’s execution time, stay focus on what needs to get done, ignoring all distractions.

Step 3: Evaluation

As part of your “system”, make sure you allocate a little bit of time to verify your work to ensure it meets your standards of excellence. If you don’t factor that time in, you’ll run out of time and skip that important step.

Taking that extra step prevents you from having unpleasant surprises later when you realize that your work isn’t up-to-par (and you have to redo it).

This step doesn’t have to be long, but you must take it.

It’s All About the “Right” Amount

Bottom line, you need time to prepare, you need time to execute, and you need time to evaluate.

Your ability to allocate the proper amount of time to each step determines your effectiveness. Spend too much time preparing or evaluating and it becomes counterproductive; spend too little time and your work suffers.

The “right” amount of time for each step is a moving target; it depends on the person and on the project. For instance, for a given project, 2 people may not need the same amount of time to prepare; and the time a person needs to prepare may vary from one project (or one week or day) to the next.

I hesitate to give one-size-fits-all benchmarks, but here’s my general recommendation: allocate 70%-80% of your time on execution, 5% on evaluation, and the rest on preparation.

As I said, execution is at the center of it all. Preparation and evaluation support execution: you prepare what you’re going to execute and you evaluate what you’ve executed. Thus, execution should get the greater part of your time.

Of course, you want to use common sense to adjust the “dosage” based on your situation. However, this gives you a starting point of reference.

Remember that procrastination loves spending time in preparation; it lures you into thinking you’re getting things done. But things get done during execution.

On the flip side, if you’re lost in the forest of your work, not knowing where to go next, it’s probably because you haven’t spent enough time planning your journey.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.