From time to time, we lose control over our jobs. Deadlines being broken, delivery is below expectation, too many issues coming up and too many escalations being raised. Things just seem to be out of control. When you find yourself in such a situation, are you able to realise that it is crisis time and that you need to step back and take some clever tactical actions in order to address the lack of control? Many people keep fire fighting with the hope that eventually, dust will settle and they will be in control again. But, the truth is that if you can step back a bit and take some proactive actions, you can quickly gain control.
Start this exercise by listing down the things that make you lose control. You now need to filter and rank the items so that you can have a priority list of the main triggers that you need to focus more on. In doing this analysis, you need to identify the things that make you lose control and yet they are not supposed to be your actions. Those actions must be assigned back to legitimate action parties. Do not continue absorbing other people’s work especially when you are out of control. But, do not go to another extreme where you just dump the work. You need a good handover or transition plan so that the actions still get done.
In addition, look for opportunities where you can get others to help you offload some of the work so that you can remain with sizeable and manageable amounts of work. You can ask your juniors to take on some of your responsibilities. If you do not have juniors, you can request your peers to help. Or indeed, your boss may have good ideas on how you can minimise your workload. The bottom line is that you need to find ways to reduce your work and priority actions to levels that are manageable. This is the key to regaining your control over your job.
Now you need to identify any of the portions of your work that you struggle with- things that unnecessarily consume a lot of your time or things that you do not fully understand and work that you have little skill for. You need to dwell on this and find good solutions for. This may mean getting some training or asking someone who knows better to help you master the skill. This may mean asking your boss to help empower you. In some cases, you might need to procure some technology tools or applications that may help do such things faster and effortlessly, thereby gaining a lot of time in the process. You need to make a good case for your boss to support you in pursuit of these lasting solutions. You need to bear in mind that if progress is to be realised, you need to constantly evaluate and review how you do your job so that gradually, you improve your efficiency and effectiveness.
Now you need to develop action plans against each of the identified items. Make a list of all the actions that you have filtered out and ranked. In the order of decreasing importance, chart the action plans against each of the identified items. Keep your document for tracking and monitoring your progress. Start implementing your plan with speed, precision and discipline. It will not take long before you begin to feel the freedom, peace and joy that will arise from your gaining control over your job. Even your employer or your boss will be very happy with you because he or she will notice the big difference. He or she will observe that your output has dramatically improved, your delivery is now always on time if not ahead of deadlines and that you are seen to be enjoying what you do with occasionally asking for more work to do because you are now very fast and effective with your delivery.
Good luck as you work on the exercise to regain your control over your job. This way, you will surely rise and shine! n