Updated: May 16, 2021
When thinking how to manage your workload, think about the 3Ps:
1. Prevent – What tasks can you avoid coming to you
2. Push Back – How to assess what tasks should actually come to you and how to push back when they are not appropriate
3. Prioritise – How to decide the order to tackle remaining tasks
I was recently developing a workshop on Managing Workloads and after reviewing the wealth of tips and advice that is out there it seems that most of this could fall in to one of these 3 groups. Firstly try to prevent tasks coming to you, secondly push back on those that are inappropriate, and thirdly prioritise your reduced list of remaining tasks.
A variety of things could fall under each ‘P’. Here are some examples:
Communicating what your team does/does not do (repeat and through multiple mediums). Some tools can help with this e.g. Responsibility Assignment Matrix (I think these can be really useful and I am eager to share more about these in a later post)
Documenting and agreeing what tasks you are responsible for and turnaround time e.g. will respond to y type requests in x days. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) might be appropriate in some instances
Writing guidance for reoccurring processes/issues
Amending systems to replace manual processes
Being clear when you are happy for other to make decisions and they don’t need to involve you
Assess whether the task should actually come to you:
Understand the task
Is someone else more appropriate/can you share guidance
Consider what you can’t do if you take on the task
If it is not appropriate then push back with confidence, brevity, honestly and respectfully
There are many methods to help do this: ranking, MoSCoW, Eisenhower Matrix etc..
And many tools that can help: Microsoft Tasks, Trello, Microsoft Planner etc.
Different methods and tools work best for different people – try some out and see what works for you
I’d welcome your feedback on the 3Ps approach I have developed and any tips you want to share about what should be included under each ‘P’.