How can I do as little as possible as quickly as possible?

Your boss calls you in for a meeting and gives you a new assignment. Your client signs off on your quotation and it’s time to deliver. Your employee asks you to help him with something he’s struggling with.

Most of us react to these situations by asking ourselves, “How can I do as little as possible as quickly as possible?”

It’s understandable given how stretched we feel at work. We already have a full plate, we can’t imagine how we’ll fit anymore on it. Doing as little as possible as quickly as possible may very well get the job done but it very rarely gets the job done well.

How do you make more time to deliver great work? The easiest way to free up time is to say ‘No’ when you know upfront you won’t have the time to deliver great work. However, most of the time, saying‘No’ is not an option. In these situations the following might help.

Find the 20%. The 80/20 Principle expounds that 20% of all work determine 80% of all results.

Delegate. It’s tempting to do your employee’s work for them (it feels so much easier).

Ask for Help. People have a natural desire to help. You’d be surprised how willing your colleagues would be to pitch in.