We are happiest at work when we can spend our time productively. Spending time on tasks that create impact is most fulfilling, rather than endless meetings, paperwork, or emails. Those tasks vary for each person; for a teacher, it's teaching; for a programmer, it's coding; and for a home healthcare worker, it's tending to a client.
Statistics show that office workers spend an average of 40% of their time on primary tasks. In other words, there's room for improvement in terms of quantity, quality, and efficiency! But how does that look at Easy LMS? We offer a time-saving LMS for consultants, so you might expect that we also do everything to work efficiently and save time whenever possible. But does that actually happen? We investigated this through 1-minute interviews with colleagues, as we don't want to keep our colleagues away from their truly meaningful work for too long. 😉 Today, we have the story of Alexandra in our interview series Time Masters about workplace productivity.
Position: Implementation Consultant
It's great that you're willing to spare 1 minute of your time for us. Let's go. What are your main tasks?
"Phew, that's a tough question. I do a lot, but everything is geared toward helping customers and ensuring they can use our learning management system as effectively as possible. In practical terms, this involves answering customer inquiries, recording their feedback, and discussing these with the PO and/or software engineers. I also assist our software engineers when they're translating client demands into functionality. Together, we determine the desired direction, and I act as the voice of the client. Once the functionality is ready, I prepare all the direct client communication, like emails, help articles, et cetera. I could actually go on and on about my tasks.😉"
How much time do you typically spend on these tasks (expressed in percentages)?
The remaining 50% is somewhat fluid
"Broadly speaking, I allocate 25% of my time to responding to client emails and giving demos and another 25% to supporting the development team; that's a fixed portion. The remaining 50% is somewhat fluid. It varies from week to week in terms of where I invest a significant amount of time. This includes, for instance, team meetings and internal communication."
Do you find that sufficient, or would you like to dedicate more time to them?
"Overall, I'm actually quite satisfied. Of course, there are weeks when I don't get to support my development team as much as I’d like, especially when we have an above-average influx of customer inquiries. However, the balance never tips the wrong way. I'm also realistic: in an ideal scenario, I might want to spend around 80% of my time on tickets and the team, but that’s just not feasible. There are simply tasks that require time, like assisting colleagues or updating demo calendars."
With our LMS, we support consultants in reclaiming valuable time by relieving them of many (administrative) tasks. What do you do to free up more time for your key tasks?
I'm selective about meetings
"I’m selective about meetings. Before I attend one, I want to know its purpose and what will be discussed. There should be a clear agenda in place. If there isn't one or the purpose doesn’t align well with my tasks, I skip the meeting."
Do you also use tools, or have you automated things to work more efficiently?
"We use Slack for our internal communication, which is quite convenient but can be distracting sometimes. One useful feature of Slack is the "save-for-later" feature. When I receive a relevant but not urgent message, I save it so I can respond to it later. This helps me maintain focus on my primary tasks."
What are your tips for working efficiently?
"I’ve always found the following three tips beneficial:
- Timeboxing tasks: I decide in advance, for example, that I want to spend 1 hour on a help article. I set a timer and don't work on it beyond that time. Timeboxing helps avoid perfectionism because sometimes, "good enough" is indeed good enough.
- No multi-tasking: Focus on one task at a time. This significantly enhances both work quality and work satisfaction.
- Turning off email or internal communication notifications: I do this when I need to concentrate. Otherwise, it's just a constant distraction that encourages multitasking."