Thanks to a holiday week with far fewer interruptions and meetings than normal, I got completely caught up in my email inbox at work and home today. What a wonderful, rare moment when I realized that I had no emails waiting on me in either place! Aaaahhhhhhh……… the bliss!
Of course, that just meant that I was then free to actually get some other things done on my to-do list, but that’s OK. That’s what I was hired to do in the first place. Over time, it’s interesting how little tasks and responsibilities continue to add up until you hardly even recognize your real day-to-day compared to what you think it should be.
For example, as the community manager for our internal social network, I want to help plow new ground in how our communication platform is used and in the amount of use by senior leaders (who definitely are not leading in this regard). I want additional mobile versions of the platform approved and available. The masses need some basic education about how to use it. There are new capabilities in the software that people need to know about and shown how to use in order to help them do their work more effectively, efficiently and collaboratively.
However, regardless of the number of big-picture initiatives I would prefer to spend time on, there is always an endless supply of little requests coming from here and there via email, phone calls, instant messages, hallway conversations, and via the platform itself. So what do I do? How do I balance making progress in big, long-term advancements while keeping up with the routine daily maintenance activities that will always be there?
For the past five weeks, my answer has been to carve out my mornings for the larger initiatives and then spend the rest of the day on the miscellaneous. So far, that has worked well. I can honestly say I’ve accomplished more in the past five weeks towards major initiatives than in the previous several months combined. So the mornings will continue to be protected on my calendar for the foreseeable future.
Leap year lesson #186 is Find what works for you and run with it.