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.