One of the things that I always do when I have a list of tasks at work is ask myself if a task is high-value work or low-value work. What I mean by that is determine the amount of benefits that could potentially come about from completing a particular task. After all, I want to make sure that I am making the best use of my time and energy. I want to be optimally productive in producing the results that I am seeking.
Time and your energy are finite resources and you need to manage them in an optimal fashion. In you every day work life, you might have a set of things that you could be working on and they all need to be completed, but some produce more valuable results than others. The tasks that have a better return on investment of your time and energy are the ones that you want to concentrate on more than the other tasks.
What constitutes high-value work?
High-value work will have a far greater impact when completed than low-value work. Some of the questions you can ask yourself in helping you determine which work you should focus on more include the following:
- Is the work going to affect just one person, a large group of people, an entire organization, or significant number of customers?
- What is the cost savings of your work? Is it a negligible amount or a substantial amount?
- Do you have the necessary resources to complete the work or will you run into too many road blocks that could waste too much of your time and energy?
- How much of a priority is this work compared to your other tasks?
Managing low-value work
I am not saying that low-value work is not important and not worth your time. I simply look at them as low priority tasks that will need to be completed, but they yield very little benefits. Essentially, you need to manage your time and energy levels in a way where you maximize focus on high-value work. Then you can focus on the low-value work during down times in your work day where you don't need to spend as much energy to complete them.
It is the high-value work that is going to showcase your skills and show others what you are capable of doing. In addition, it is work that will be more challenging and exciting for you to complete. I recommend taking the time to look at all of your work tasks and figure out which ones are going to bring the most success when completed.