Eliminate, Delegate & Retain – The 3 bucket approach to get back on the path of a motivated & happy work life

After the initial years of most of our careers, when we enter the middle management, the responsibilities at work tend to be broad & inevitably longer. Time will seem scarce. Adding an extra hour or two will not yield significant results. The “flow” is disrupted. Thoughts are interrupted, reaching dead ends very often. Meetings & discussions add to the drain. Distractions & interference deteriorate focus & concentration. A constant feeling of playing catch up persists. Satisfaction is hard to come by. It may seem it is time for another change of job.

If you are in such a state of mind, Pause! The situation calls for review of your activities and here is a simple guide. List all your activities & for every activity make the below assessment:

1. Are you adding value to the underlying motive by performing this activity? –

  • If Yes, proceed to Step 2
  • If No, mark this activity for elimination. Move to the next activity and begin with Step 1.

2. Is the process of performing this activity consistent & the output measurable?

  • If No, process to Step 3
  • If Yes, mark this activity as a candidate for delegation. Move to the next activity and begin with Step 1.

3. Mark this activity as a candidate for retention. (The most challenging of activities will make it to this level. This plays a key role to get back on the path of a motivated & happy work life)

All the activities are now in 3 buckets – Eliminate, Delegate & Retain. Initiate discussion with your boss. Begin by showing the list of activities.

  • Assure dedicated efforts & quality results for the activities in the Retain bucket and show preparedness to take on more.
  • Emphasize on continued ownership of activities in the Delegate bucket though you would want to delegate it to a able member in the team
  • Focus on past achievements in the Eliminate bucket & make a case for elimination.