Is it really worth the effort?

#6 The managing overwhelm series

Last week I became super pragmatic about quantifying the cost and time we spend on our current BAU and in projects. If we did some of the calculations then I reckon most of you would you be starting to realise why it feels like you’re working in quick sand. The more you struggle the more overwhelming it gets.  

So let’s switch tack and look at whether the attention we give our current workload is worth it. Does the time, money and resources give us the return to make it worth it? 

We will have a gut feel about whether there is sufficient return on effort. But gut feel isn’t a helpful conversation to have with others, nor will it get you the powerful voice you need to be able to negotiate how you spend your time.  Let’s put some data to that gut feel and help you make some better choices.

So how do we quantify whether something is worth working on? We look at the following to make more informed decisions about it;

  • Revenue/funding increase: Will this generate more dollars for us directly?
  • Efficiency/productivity: If this will make us better, then how? From what to what? How will we measure this? It’s not enough to say it will. We will need to prove it with things like; how time to complete reduced by X, faster production lines by X, less mistakes or defaults by X, etc. 
  • Cost reduction or avoidance: How will this impact us from a spending perspective? What costs will no longer exist or be less? By how much? 
  • Capability build: If we are building in-house expertise – then prove it.  Will this mean we make better decisions and rely less on external expertise?
  • Market share: Gather data to prove you are gaining more of the market. Number of customers or clients? Are there industry reports you can assess?
  • Brand or team reputation: Customer surveys, engagement surveys, brand reviews with known and unknown customer bases.
  • Decrease risk: What risks currently exist that will be smaller as a result? Prove this.

Reviewing this list may have sent you into a greater sense of overwhelm. I get it. This is really a formula to think by. And it’s much easier than you think. It’s even a dashboard that you can just plug in the data and it will help you see what’s worth it and what’s not.

Feeling like you want to spend the time understanding your workload, making choices to drop things and be able to push back better?

Come to my workshop on ‘Taming the chaos: Mastering overwhelm in the workplace’. Check it out and register here.