Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Discovering your most valuable activities, part of Enhancing Your Productivity.
In order to make yourself irreplaceable, you need to understand what your most valuable activities are. I'm going to walk you through a short process to help you discover them. To make this easier for you we've created a worksheet that you can use. In this worksheet the column called Work Activity is where you'll list each type of work activity that you perform during the day. For this exercise, you want to separate these work activities in terms of the big picture rather than individual tasks.
Work activities on this worksheet should be listed by broad categories such as new product development, graphic design or sales, not email, answering phones, or running errands. Next, move to the Talent column. We're simply going to rate how talented you think you are on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being no talent, 10 being highly talented. Again, if you've gone through the process of assessing your talents, you'll know that your talents are those things that are your combined gifts, loves, and skills.
Next, the Replace column is where you'll rate how difficult it would be to replace you. How easily could you find someone else in the available job market who could perform this activity well? 0 means it would be very easy to hire someone and a 10 would mean it would be nearly impossible to find someone else to perform this activity well for any amount of money. Next, we move to the dollar per hour column. Here we want to estimate how much it would cost to pay someone else to do that activity.
That may seem like a strange concept, particularly if you're working for someone else. Just give it your best guess. For instance, if one of my work activities is graphic design, how much would I need to pay a graphic designer per hour to replace that activity for me? I would enter that number in the column. We want to end up with a dollar per hour best guess estimate for each work activity. If you need help coming up with an hourly rate try taking what you think an annual salary for this position would be and divide it by 2080, which is 52 weeks in a year and 40 hours a week.
In the next column we're going to rank the various activities to determine the most valuable activity. There is no hard and fast rule to the ranking, look at your answers in the previous columns and then use your best judgment. Rank the activities in terms of first-place, second-place, and so on. For example, if I listed developing new products as one of my talents, it's difficult to replace and it has a high cost per hour, then I'm going to rank this activity very high.
When in doubt, if two activities seem similar in your mind then rank the highest dollar per hour activity higher. Now complete the bottom section. My top two most valuable activities are based upon your ranking. In this course, you'll learn the importance and skill of focusing on just the top two activities. Next, you'll see a series of three questions beginning with the total number of hours you spend working each week, give a specific estimate.
Keep in mind that my definition of work hours includes travel time to and from work and time spent thinking about work while at home. The reality is if you're thinking about work you're working. Next, estimate the amount of time per week you spend in your top two most valuable activities. Base this number on an average week during the last month. Finally, you'll divide B by A, this will show you the percentage of work time that you are spending on your most valuable activities.
Whatever that number is I recommend that your goal for this course is to increase it. The more time you spend in these activities the harder it is to replace you.
This course is one of a series of five Dave Crenshaw courses based on his Invaluable teaching methodology for professional development.
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- Discovering your most valuable activities
- Focusing by offloading tasks that weigh you down
- Enhancing productivity around the office
- Eliminating distractions
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 01/03/2012. What changed?
A: This course was retitled, streamlined, and refined throughout, resulting in a slightly shorter runtime. We also added new graphics and a new welcome movie.