Are you struggling with the additional workload throughout the pandemic? Wasting hours trying to get tasks completed? Want a simple way to review and prioritise?
If so, you are not alone! Many of our Clerks have reported a sharp increase in their daily tasks and responsibilities following the new lockdown restrictions and are simply struggling to get things done.
Our latest time-saving video is the one for you! Our Managing Director Tim O’Shea will teach you his simple method to streamline your workload and save precious hours each week (you could easily save 8+ hours!). The goal being that you can take back control of your time allowing you focus on the projects which matter in your community.
First up we will explain how different people react to stress and how to reprogramme your mind to manage situations strategically for maximum output by discovering your trajectory path.
Then we will teach you the importance of a time audit, and how spending 30 minutes can transform your working week and pinpoint your lost hours.
Followed by an insight into the Asymmetric Return Model, not only will it work for your role at the council, you can also apply this model throughout all aspects of your life. It involves minimal setup and once in place the return is invaluable!
After teaching our Clerks this method ALL of them have reported back that they have never felt more productive and in control and have started implementing this method throughout the council and within their family life too!
We can’t wait to help revolutionise your working week!
See how other Clerks are managing the pandemic by joining our Facebook group
During this session Tim unveils his process for maximising your time whilst reducing stress.
Promise: A fresh look at managing stress and time
How would you like to take back control of your time and keep focused instead of stressed out?
- Discover your Trajectory Path
- The 30 Minute Time Audit
- Asymmetric Return Model
"Hi, my name is Tim O’Shea and I’m the Managing Director of Scribe.
Today I just wanted to do a quick 10 minute training course on how to get your time back. What we found recently is that with the crisis that's ongoing is that so many of our poor clerks are overwhelmed with the amount of work they've got, the crisis has created a huge amount of extra work and things are just getting on top of them so a lot of people out there are overwhelmed and stressed and I just wanted to share a few techniques that could help you and help you get over that hump.
First of all I think it's interesting to look at the crisis and how the crisis works. So if we look at where we are today we’re in this crisis and the crisis is ongoing and at some point in the future we know the crisis will be over and the sun will be shining and we’ll be happy. We’re here at the moment things are not looking good, difficult times and we are in this sad place. So at some point things will get better and at the moment it's very hard to see when that will be but we can approach things in a certain way which will help us get to that place.
So, in the middle of the timescale this could be a year, 6 months, 10 years it doesn’t matter what the crisis is, but at some point in the future it will be better and it will be obvious that the crisis is going to get better and we’ll get to this point here and we will know that actually we can see forward and we can see that things are going to get better. But we’re right here, right at the start and here we have got a choice of how to behave, different people will actually naturally go into certain different formats. The instinct for humans is to run away in flight and what happens is it just gets out of control, things get overwhelmed, time becomes difficult, things get stressful and spiral out of control.
So that’s one way certain organisations and certain people react. Other people will think ok, I am on top of this and look up a bit, things will get better and then things get bad and they kind of end up fixing some things and not fixing others and they kind of flip flop through, they get to the end and where they started off and where they finish is the kind of the same place and in the crisis they don’t progress forwards.
Whilst other people, other organisations will say actually, we know it's going to get better in the future what can we do now to make things better and their trajectory goes more like this and they end up in a much better place.
So, we have these 3 different models of organisations, businesses, councils, people and actually quite often we find ourselves in this red zone things are out of control and are going bad and we don’t really want to end up here, or, we think okay, we will be positive for a while and things will get better and you end up flip-flopping back and forwards, you get on top of one project one problem and another one comes in.
There are certain organisations who can move all the way through and the big difference with people on this green trajectory is the main thing is leadership and taking a long term strategic view of where you want to be and then decisions you make here might maybe make a small improvement but those improvements go on and on and then add up therefore, by stepping back and saying actually, I am going to take a strategic view and lead my way through this crisis then it’s possible to take a different view and get to a different places.
People around you in your organisation and your family will take different routes and some people seem to remain calm and even though deep down there might be some sort of anxiety they'll find a way through. This is what we need to find, we need to find the leadership within us to do that. One day it will get better.
Right, back to the main point of how to get your time back and stop being overwhelmed.
There’s a really simple thing you can do and it makes a huge difference and that thing is to do a time audit. This is very very simple and all we do is when we have a task we write it down. First thing in the morning i'll start at 8:30 and maybe 8:30-9:00 I will clear my emails and that takes 30 minutes and then after from 9:00-9:15 I will talk to a councillor and that takes 15 minutes and what you do is you just write this all down, you can write it in a spreadsheet, I actually use my phone and do it that way. It does take a bit of time to start, you feel like you haven’t got time to do a time order but, actually it doesn’t take that long.
As you start going through the day you think okay, 9:00 til 9:45 I didn’t really do anything and so you think gosh, I didn’t do much then what actually ends up happening is you don’t have these points in your day where you’re doing nothing because you’re auditing yourself and holding yourself accountable. By taking the order and doing a time diary you end up being more efficient straight away as you are managing yourself. Over time let’s say it goes 10:00am-11:00am i’m doing the accounts, 11:00-12:00 i’m preparing meetings, and then 12 onwards something else, 2:00-4:00 I am responding to queries, if you do this for a week at the end of the week you can add up all these things and you can add up your tasks so I have spent 4 hours on my accounts, I have spent 8 hours talking to Councillors 10 hours on meeting prep, 3 hours on just answering the phone etc and you can add it all up and what that does is you can kind of see where the problems lie and you can see what is taking up most of your time. Everyone will have different lists in here and you can say to yourself how can I solve the problems which are taking my time and the way you are thinking about that is with a different model called the asymmetric return.
This works for all sorts of different things so when you are thinking about taking on a new project or task you can take on a task which has a huge amount of work and the benefit it has for you is very small so you have this huge great input of work and the output is very small and that could be checking your emails. Alternatively you can choose a different task using the same model. Which has quite a bit of input but the output is massive, so here we have huge amounts of output and less input, still quite a bit but you can see the return is massive and this is a strategic project. The input could be PC errors or PC problems and that's taking you 10 hours a week and you think gosh, my computer not working properly has caused me all these problems and then you think well, actually, what I am going to do this week if I am going to buy myself a new computer and then I just freed up 10 hours a week ongoing.
Asymmetric means small input large output and could be working out how you manage dealing and talking to your Councillors, for example you might find the Councillors are always asking the same question therefore you might decide I am going to do a weekly email update and I am going to give instructions on how to feedback this. Everyone will have a different version of this but for example what I am going to try and by doing so it’s going to take you a certain amount of time but hopefully by managing everyone at one time you can then get less inbound email coming to you.
We have other things here such as accounts and meeting prep which I guess are kind of tied in. You might manage the accounts manually and you think actually, I am using excel or paper or a system that gives me the wrong reports, to change that is going to take quite a bit of effort and time but after that lets say we can make that six hours and meeting prep goes down to 30 minutes so I have just saved six plus meeting prep, let's say seven. Seven hours per week by fixing my accounts system, I've just got back seven hours a week.
Just to go through these models again we know that we are in this crisis, and we can make a decision of how we deal with it. We can either let it get out of control, we can flip-flop from thing to thing and we will probably end up where we started off or, we can step back and make some strategic decisions which means short term I might end up having to put a few things off but over time we will get a much better result through the crisis.
One way of doing that is just to audit your time and that involves taking a diary of you day say for a week and it will take you an extra half an hour a day but what happens straight away you will soon start filling in the gaps, there will be time where you don't do anything and you feel you'll be more productive straight away as you are keeping yourself accountable, you can then add up all your hours here and work out what projects to take on that will get rid of these time and you’ll be thinking about doing projects that are not a big input and a small output but something that’s got quite a big input but a huge output. Over time you will get your time back and be less stressed and less overwhelmed and your career will go on and you can start spending time on the things you really want to be doing which is projects in the community and making an impact on your community."