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Do not wear 2 hats at the same time

It’s a clear day here in Vienna and I’m in a beautiful park soaking up the special feel that this city has. I’ve just had a workshop with a group of leaders, and we spoke about three topics:

● Workload management

● Prioritisation

● Focus

The first topic, workload management, is something we really worked on.


Because these leaders are absolutely bombarded!

They’re swamped with to-dos, emails, Slack messages… Some receive as many as 500 messages per day. Moreover, they get notifications 24/7 from the different tools they use – yes, even when they are asleep.

As you can expect, they’re struggling with the volume of their workload.

To address this, we spoke about making a distinction between what I call “processing time” and “focus time”

What is the difference between the two?

In this video, I want to share one simple piece of advice that can help you manage your work better and do it faster

When it comes to your “processing time”, quantity is the focus. I’m talking about speed here. You want to manage as many tasks, emails, or messages as possible in a short period of time.

Here’s what I suggest:

Set aside two to three blocks of time each day for your processing time. Think of it like your triage time for your emails, Slack messages and to-do lists – you’re just processing the flow of work that’s coming in.

What’s important is that anything you can do quickly, do it immediately. Anything that is time-consuming, you decide when you are going to do it and block time for it in your diary.

Quantity / speed is the key during your processing time.

Meanwhile, your “focus time” is all about quality. You want to focus only on one topic and dig really deep into it. You only want to spend quality time on this.

How? Block twenty minutes, half an hour or an hour to work on one topic only. During this time, the goal is to create deep focus on this topic.

With focus time, it’s quality over quantity.

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip: Don’t mix your processing time and focus time.

Remember that processing time is all about speed while focus time is about creating deep focus. You can’t do both at the same time.

Unfortunately, that’s what a lot of people do – they mix both hats.

What they don’t realise is that instead of making themselves more productive, mixing up their processing and focus times results in slowing them down. However, if you only wear one hat at a time, you will go through your workload much faster and handle a lot more tasks. On top of this you will go deeper into that one topic or task that you need to have a deeper focus on.

So now whenever you do something, I want you to ask yourself this question:

Am I in processing time or in focus time?

You have a lovely day.

A bientôt,

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