by Dennie Heye, Europe Chapter, Petroleum & Energy Resources Division
Future Ready to me means making choices on different levels: on a strategic level, a professional level but also in our daily work. As we are very service and customer oriented, we may have difficulties handling all the requests. In order to make sure I make the right between choices, I always ask myself two questions: “Does this have to be done?” and then “Should I be doing this?”
Consider whether a task, a chore or a project really needs to be done: how does this tie to your priorities? Do not fear to have this discussion with your colleagues, customer or manager. Often, when you can explain why a task is not that important in your opinion, the other can be convinced to share your view. For example: your boss wants you to brief him personally every week on the detailed status of all your projects and tasks. If you can explain to him that this will take valuable time away from priorities, but that you will brief him on the most important projects and tasks, he may be okay with that. Do not take every task handed without thinking about these questions.
Secondly, are you the right person to be doing it? Something may be very important, but you are not always the right person for it. If it does not fit your scope of work, your skills or time schedule it is better to have someone else to do it. Revisit these two reasons for yourself and with your team regularly.
Your time is always limited, so you need to do the right things in the right way. Being effective is about doing the right things for the right purpose. This all ties back to having priorities – otherwise you are not able to decide whether something is the right thing to do. It is essential that your team and yourself have a list of clear and agreed priorities.
Dennie Heye is Global Knowledge Manager at Shell International. He is also a member of SLA’s Information Outlook Advisory Committee and the International Relations Chair for the Petroleum & Energy Resources Division.