Every day you start your day with a plan in mind but instead you end up dealing with more urgent items. This is called unplanned work (aka firefighting).
There are 2 types of work : planned and unplanned work
Unplanned work is not free
Quite the opposite . It’s very expensive , because unplanned work comes at the expense of planned work!!
Unplanned work has side effects. When you spend all your time firefighting , there’s little time or energy left for planning.
What could you do?
- Maintain a bullet list of unplanned work item.
- Review this list and identify recurring items.
- Ask yourself is this unplanned work item can be delegated : if yes , document the resolution and delegate. ( ref to 4 D’s of productivity)
- Ask yourself: Is this recurrent? Could it be automated?
- Ask yourself: Is this really urgent ? If yes, is this related to a business goal? Are you responsible for that business goal? If you are a bottleneck, should you only work on high-priority items related to your business goals.
Remember, there is always unplanned work. If you learn how to manage it, you will generate a lot more value and spend more time on what really matter: planned work.