The top 4 #workhacks

Lydia Schültken helps teams to work together more effectively and harmoniously.

How many hours do we waste by attending pointless, never-ending meetings, by getting bogged down in PowerPoint presentations, by losing track of our objective because of an endless flood of emails? Lydia Schültken, a consultant, speaker and co-author of the bestselling book Management Y, has found a solution: #workhacks. In other words, minimally invasive techniques for improving the collaboration and teamwork. Schültken has been inspired by how agile management methods such as Design Thinking and Scrum are used in high performance teams at various companies. A company founder in Chile and long-term consultant on change management, she knows what really works.

These are the top 4 work hacks:

#1 Focus Time

One hour a day is reserved for focused work. Nobody speaks, no meetings take place, nobody checks emails or talks on the phone. The underlying idea is that it takes 15 to 18 minutes to really get immersed in a task. Diversions – such as a colleague asking about weekend plans – will break your concentration, meaning you have to start all over again. This can be frustrating, and in the long run, can cause stress.

#2 Retrospection

Every two weeks the team comes together and looks back on the work they’ve done together and asks three questions: What’s working? What isn’t working? What new things should we try out? In short: keep, drop and try. This allows for latent conflicts to be settled, keeps people open to new ideas, and initiates a continuous process of improvement in terms of teamwork.

#3 The Prio Board

If you work on more than three priorities at the same time, everything will drag on because you have to divide your time between all the priorities. This will give you the feeling that you can’t finish anything quickly and effectively. You will be left unsatisfied. The Prio Board thus only allows for three priorities at a time. Everything else will be collected in a pool of priorities and will only be put on the Prio Board once a spot has opened up. This way everyone stays in the know about current priorities. The technique is about focusing and being satisfied. The Prio Board can be used by an entire team if its members are working on the same task; otherwise everyone can have their own board. This way, tasks and workloads also become transparent to management.

#4 “Complaint-free Mondays”

The basic idea comes from Will Bowen, who with his book Complaint Free World has made it into a whole movement. The technique is about refraining from complaints for one day a week. This will lead to a strong awareness of how often you complain in the course of a day, and to a lessening of complaints. This, in turn, will lead you towards a more problem-solving attitude, and a “hands-on mentality”.

More #workhacks can be found under www.workhacks.de