Being clear on our roles and job descriptions can be the easiest starting point to gaining perspective.
We manage many roles … spin plates, juggle balls, wear hats or whatever metaphor you apply to this level.
Like our goals which can be divided into long and short term, the roles can also be sub-divided; into its job title and a specific job description. These are areas of focus though when one role is in cruise control, another can feel very unbalanced.
While many of us have a formal, documented job description for our work, less review it frequently. In time, the role changes and evolves to the extent that 90% of our day seems to be covered by the last item on the job description, “any other duties.” And we might not be conscious that every role outside of work also has a job description.
In this exercise, begin by mapping all of your roles (work and personal), and then take each key one and plotting the daily, weekly and monthly tasks involved to maintain that role.
Although there is no answer to that question, charting effectiveness against busyness, maps broadly as a bell curve.
Nothing to do = we feel ineffective.
Too much to do = we feel ineffective.
Every time we say 'yes' to something, we say 'no' to something else. The key is learning to decline requests that aren't adding value, so we spend more time on the work that makes a positive impact. Saying 'no' can be the hardest 'soft' skill there is.