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In the previous videos we've identified your most valuable activities and we've talked about helping your co-workers identify their most valuable activities. At this point you and your co-workers should each have a basic understanding of the two most valuable things that you both can be doing with your time. Now how can we use the information you've learned about your co-workers to help make you irreplaceable? First, I recommend that you schedule a special one-to-one meeting with one purpose in mind.
To help each other, focus more in your most valuable activities. The amount of time it will take to accomplish this may vary, but 50 minutes should be enough time. Here's the agenda I recommend. First, share your most valuable activity worksheets with each other. As I mentioned in the previous video look for crossover as you review the worksheets together. Ideally for areas where your MVAs are their LVAs. If your activities don't line up like this you can still look for ways to help each other spend more time in your MVAs.
Next, discuss ways you can help your co- worker, begin with an attitude of giving first. Ask them, how can I help you remove some least valuable activities from your work schedule? Use the steps in the order of offloading that I discussed in a previous video. Discuss ways they can improve their personal systems. Talk about how you can improve business systems, using better technology and possibly outsourcing or hiring. Remember, hiring someone else or outsourcing should be the last option considered.
You're looking for solutions to help the other person stay in their MVAs using the resources that you already have available, or through making some small upgrades. Next, after you've helped your co-worker, ask them for help and suggestions on how you can spend more of your time in your MVAs. At this point you may be wondering, if everyone's offloading their least valuable activities, when does any work get done? The answer can come from an old adage.
One person's trash is another person's treasure, or one person's least valuable activity is another person's most valuable activity. This isn't about which work is undesirable or considered lower on the pay scale. This is about focusing your attention on the work that's most valuable based on your own talents and gifts. Once you've discussed ways you can help each other, make commitments to each other about the actions that you're going to take.
And finally, schedule another meeting 30 days out to revisit the plan that you came up with. It's likely that after 30 days you'll find areas where your solutions didn't work completely. That's expected and actually good, because you'll have learned through experience what worked and what didn't work. Now in the follow-up meeting, tweak the system that you created and refine it. In other words, don't worry about getting this perfect the first time you meet. Just come up with the best plan you can and then improve it after you test it out.
By making small progress and working together, and improving how much time you spend on your MVAs, you'll be contributing to each other's career success.
This course is one of a series of five Dave Crenshaw courses based on his Invaluable teaching methodology for professional development.
- Discovering your most valuable activities
- Focusing by offloading tasks that weigh you down
- Enhancing productivity around the office
- Eliminating distractions