Redesign your Own Job and Stop Doing Low Value Work

Job Design
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Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Redesign your Own Job and Stop Doing Low Value Work

Following basic time management rules to get all aspects of a job done seems to be a core skill for working professionals. However, busy-busy-busy has become the new normal. Hence, to maintain performance, professionals ought to redesign their job by getting rid of some low-value work.

The job redesign needs a proactive approach. Here's when to do it:
  • When just starting a new job, give yourself three months to figure out what must be done for the job and which are the low-value work, and negotiate with your manager what you want and don't want to do.
  • Upon taking on more responsibilities, take this as an opportunity to restructure your work. Be sure to provide several options to your manager.
  • If there is a reorganisation, be careful not to take on too much. People are reluctant to say no at this time as they don't want to lose their job. However, a study shows that the survivors of a reorganisation are a critical asset for the company and, therefore, a job redesign proposal will be viewed as positive.
  • When everyone is celebrating a job that you have done, it's a great time to ask for something. For example, let the company's productivity units or IT help you reduce some low-value work.
  • Figure out the low-value work and check with your colleagues or clients if you could stop doing it, such as those regular reports that nobody read.
  • Automate the low-value work. Ask the company's IT if there is any technology that can free you up from doing some easy and routine jobs.
  • Set your rules of work and let others know it. For example, you may prefer to have your one-on-one with your manager monthly instead of weekly if that works for both of you.
  • Give yourself some self-time for work every week. Let people know when you are and when you aren't available for interruption.
Take ownership and courage to redesign your job, make it work for you and stop doing low-value work. After all, it's your job.

Source: Claman, P., 2016. Stop Doing Low-Value Work. [online] Harvard Business Review.


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