Community//

4 Ways to Work Smarter in 2020

400 emails a day. 30 calls and meetings a week. Fires burning all the time. 134 things on my to-do list. Here's how I will work smarter in 2020.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

400 emails a day. 30 calls and meetings a week. Fires burning all the time. 134 things on my to-do list (yup, I just counted).

I spend at least 75% of my time in reaction mode. That means I spend 75% of my time working on other people’s priorities rather than my own. It is really, really hard to walk away feeling there is so much more to do and so much that requires response and attention and give myself the time and space to focus on the strategic parts of my business and my goals. In 2020, that has to change. And I have a plan.

First, I will get better at identifying mork. “Mork” is a word I made up. It is a conjunction of “more” and “work” as in “is that something we need to do or is that just more work?” Mork refers to something that might seem like a good idea at first but, upon reflection is either process for process sake or a project that doesn’t drive to our core objectives. As a self-professed idea junkie and someone who loves neat and tidy processes, I can sign off on a whole lotta’ mork if I’m not really careful. For 2020, less mork.

Second, I will politely decline requests for conversations and meetings that neither move me towards my goals nor fuel my spirit. Of those 30 calls and meetings, how many move the needle, educate me or inspire me? Maybe half. For 2020, I will practice my “no” muscle. A lot.

Third, I will find a way to manage my email traffic. This has been the bane of my professional life and it is only getting worse. For 2020, I am going to: (a) empower my assistant to respond to at least 50% of the emails that come in; (b) surrender my type-A need to respond to everyone and everything; (c) carve out specific, limited time specifically to respond to emails and avoid the constant interruption of checking in and responding to the “easy ones” right then and there.

Finally, I will make space to think more deeply, deliberately and intentionally about the work I am doing, the goals I have and the impact I want to make. The key will be to carve out time and aggressively protect my mental bandwidth. That means a daily walking practice in which I use that time and space to decompress, think through challenges and generate ideas and solutions.

It means I will practice what I preach.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Courtesy of Kaz / Pixabay
    Well-Being//

    12 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

    by Marina Khidekel
    ImYanis/ Shutterstock
    Community//

    6 Simple Tools to Accomplish More by Working Smarter, Not Harder

    by Farrah Smith
    Community//

    Be Real: Meika Hollender Talks Entrepreneurial Burnout

    by Meika Hollender

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.