Being the go-to person in the workplace is a way to ensure you stand out from the rest and make yourself indispensable to the business, becoming a valued asset to others. However, as a leader or manager this can easily lead to you overcommitting yourself and you start to drown in extra work, therefore you must ensure you know how and where your valuable time should be spent. Check out some of our top tips below:
1. Align yourself with your boss
Ensure you have the power you need to do the fundamentals of your role – go above your own head and align yourself with your boss. In any situation where you feel overworked or there is not enough time to commit to all projects, ensure you first go up the chain of command, manage up and be in frequent communication with your boss on the matter.
2. Align with your direct reports
Your direct reports need to stay aligned with you and you need to take responsibility for this. Part of your job as a boss is to help people work better, setting and managing expectations, following up, and guiding them through their tasks.
3. Fine-tune your tasks
When you are asking someone to do something ‘get good’ at being clear and detailed about the ask. When you are being asked to get good at helping people fine-tune their asks, ask questions and take notes to help drill down the details. This will prevent any doubling up on workloads and all involved are clear on the tasks in hand.
4. Evaluate opportunities to expand your repertoire
Stay committed to continuous improvement but know when these opportunities are worthwhile. For example, jobs or tasks close to your speciality are a good fit with your other responsibilities and are easy to add to your repertoire. The other jobs or tasks that present an opportunity to enhance your skills and career may add strain to your workload so it is important to evaluate the added value versus the time it would take.
5. Don’t be a juggler
Set yourself up to work in focused increments without interruption, where you can start and finish a task or section of a project effectively and to the best of your ability. Assign chunks of your days to multiple small tasks – if you don’t like tackling one job per day, focus on bite-sized pieces of work throughout the working week to ensure the same results. Everyone works differently, and it is up to you to figure out your optimal time for focusing.
By following these tips or adapting them to your personal working style, you should find yourself in the right balance between being the go-to person and overcommitting, and you will be on the route to becoming indispensable at work.
Want to learn more? Why not brush up on your leadership skills with our Leadership Essentials on Decision Making?
Part of this article first appeared in the Spring2021 edition of EDGE Journal, by Bruce Tulgan.