Have you ever experienced overload problem?

Your team members may feel the same way when they are working on several tasks at once or in an environment that is not favourable to concentration. Does it have to be this way?

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Michał Stangret
Evangelist, Harmodesk & Positive Productivity

The answer to the question posed in the title can be short: "And who among us did not have such a problem with the computer!". Then it appears that at some stage the processor becomes so overloaded that you gradually observe increasingly delayed reactions of the machine to your commands. First it starts to "lag", then you can lose control of the device and the monitor and cursor just freeze.

Like it or not, humans also have their limitations: distractors (notifications, phone calls, etc.), working in an environment that is not favourable to concentration, doing many tasks at the same time.

It is supposed to be faster, but it turns out to be slower, because the tasks are not completed accurately and then they have to be revisited and corrected.

Conclusion? If we want an employee to perform tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible, we should provide them with a friendly working environment.

How to do it?

Managers commonly do it this way:

  1. Collecting all tasks in one place, accessible to all employees (one sure source of tasks to complete).

We can collect all tasks in one place, accessible to all employees, thus providing employees with one certain source of tasks to complete and eliminating the problem of distractors, employees will not have to "listen" to multiple channels to maintain readiness to accept more tasks.

  1. Creating clear, objective rules for assigning individual tasks to specific employees (everyone knows what they have to do now, they don't have to think about it).

We can also create clear, objective rules for assigning individual tasks to specific employees so that everyone knows which task they have to do now and does not have to waste time prioritising them, e.g:

  • Establish a specific method to be used by all employees for retrieving tasks from the queue of pending tasks so that on the basis of objective rules without analysis of "what to choose?" (thinking) each employee knows which task to choose now. 
  • Manual selection of tasks for execution in terms of current priorities by means of a predefined scheme of actions (prioritisation in terms of e.g.: client, issue, date, number of days in the backlog, SLA).
  1. Actions for a focused work environment.

We can take action to introduce a focus-oriented working environment by means of measures such as:

  • Apply principles of mental hygiene at work and techniques to deal with distractors that divert attention from what is really important at the moment, e.g. checking emails only at set times, regular breaks, Pomodoro technique (divide time resources into 25-minute intervals. During this time, we concentrate only on one task and eliminate all distractions. Only after 25 minutes, start the next task with a short break).
  • Take steps to improve the ergonomics of the work space (office/home office) to favour concentration: headphones, partitions, only distractors, notifications.

These are examples of common, simple and spot-on methods of solving a problem, but we can also apply a system method. How?

How to solve the problem using the system method?

We like to compare this task rain (which results in working on several tasks simultaneously, working in a system environment not conducive to concentration) to a game of Tetris. 

Do you know this iconic game? There is a moment in Tetris when the tasks flow so chaotically and in such a disordered way that we are unable to stack the blocks properly and "game over" occurs. 

Using the symbols of this game, the systemic solution of the problem can be illustrated in a simplified way by means of a schematic graphic as below.

Systemic problem solving comes directly down to introducing a solution that:

  • It collects tasks from various transaction systems into one place.
  • It queues them according to priorities, generating a stream of tasks that flow automatically, one by one, to specific employees according to their competences and preferences.

As a result, it is possible to improve productivity by focusing on one task at a time and ensuring that it is the right task for the employee at that time. Tasks, in the end, are completed faster and better also from a quality perspective.

Above mechanism eliminates your employees' time and energy eater: working on several tasks simultaneously, a work in a system environment that isn’t conducive to focus.

This is only 1 of 14 time and energy eaters of employees and managers that we have identified in the course of our long-term experience in over 500 Business Services, Back Office and Middle Office teams in dozens of countries on 5 continents. The presented system solution eliminates these eaters as well.

If you want to discover:

✅ what is the disruptive nature of the other 13 eaters?

✅ what is their impact on your team and organisation?

✅ how much money can be saved by eliminating them?

✅ how do managers usually try to handle them unsuccessfully and how to do it once and for all using the proven system method?

➡️ get your ebook, titled: Top eaters of time and energy in Business Services & Back/Middle Office. How much money they absorb and how to eliminate them?

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