How to get things done, faster
You have done it. You finished the power point presentation, for the next big meeting, one day before the scheduled deadline. Feeling great and proud of what you came up with, you are handing it over to your boss’s office for the obligatory preview.
Ok, you think. All good for now. It doesn’t even take 60 seconds and you find yourself taking a million notes of what to rewrite, take out, re-locate and add.
Bottomline, you realize pretty quickly that your great work is indeed worth, let’s say a fraction of what you thought five minutes ago.
How can this be? What did you miss? What went wrong and where are all these extra requests coming from?
Ever been in such a situation? I have and I am glad because it helped me getting better.
Here are me top 8 thoughts to keep in mind when working on any task, projects, presentation or when it comes to managing expectation of others.
So, when dealing with things you do with or for others it’s always a great to:
#1 get a clear picture of how the final result of outcome should look like or what it should contain. Ask if there is a similar presentation you could check to assure the same layout of agenda. Find out how certain topics or KPI’s (key performance indicators) or even issues are being addressed or presented, this might differ from company to company.
#2 Be open for change. Even if you are crystal clear of what to put into a presentation others might have other agendas, ideas or strategies in mind. If you are aware of changes to be happening you will likely be less disappointed when it happens.
#3 Keep things simple. Thing “WIN” first (what’s important now). Before getting your creative moment think “content and structure” first. Once this is in place you can go on and adjust based on any needs. This will help you saving time you can spend doing other things.
#4 Don’t overthink. In case you need to address certain critical topics - focus on stating the facts while leaving any emotion aside. If you feel uncomfortable simply check in with your boss and see if it's ok.
#5 Ask more questions. I’d rather ask more than to less. You might think that this is a sign of weakness or a lack of understanding. Well, it’s not. It rather shows that you really want to get right from the beginning, and sometimes certain questions can generate more clarity.
#6 Get all the help you can get. What is wrong with asking team mates to have a look, double confirm or simply check on facts. Unfortunately, in today’s work world we tend to share less, compete more and keep more to ourselves. Still, I encourage you to try. There is always something to learn from others around you.
#7 Be open and transparent. I know this sounds weird. Think of if this way. One day you might move on and someone else will have to fill your position. Wouldn’t it be great to give this person a fair chance to keep up what you have started (or taken over at some point yourself)?
#8 Trust the process and get better over time. It’s a fact that practice makes a master. Give yourself a chance to become better. Even if someone else’s presentation might be better. Learn from it and apply or adjust and grow with it. One presentation at a time (or any other task).
Pairing all the above with patience and consistency you might have a fair chance to become better faster, maybe more productive for yourself and for sure a bit better in managing expectations of others better.
As each thought might appear very simple to you, they can be really powerful in combination with each other.
I am curious, what would you consider?