Updated: Aug 22
My daughter loves “life hacks.” She’ll often bring something into the kitchen to show me, like how to keep your cold brew from getting watered down. (You’re welcome. 😎)
Most life hacks make life better. They save us time and help us do things more efficiently.
The ones that help me are all well and good, but what I’d love to see more of are hacks that show me how to save other people time. I love these even more because when I take a few extra seconds to make something easy for someone else, I usually get the response I need... faster! (And in the end… that saves me time. 🙂 )
One way to do this is so simple that it’s surprising more people don’t do it: When you email or Slack someone, and you need them to reference a document, link to it! I know it takes an extra moment to grab the link; I get it. But it pays off in spades.
Here’s an example.
A few years ago, I was managing four projects across three clients, and out of the blue I saw a Slack request regarding one of the projects I was not focused on in that moment:
I stared at that post for about 30 seconds trying to recall what he was asking for. But, when I realized I’d have to spend 3-4 minutes digging around for the spreadsheet he referred to (and lose my train of thought on the current project!), I ignored it and went back to the project I was focusing on. I intended to get back to him later.
Well, “later” happened a full 24 hours later! When I was back on that project, I spent the expected 3-4 minutes to go find the spreadsheet, update it, and send what he needed. But I could have done it the day before if he had linked to it. What could have taken less than a minute took 24 hours.
My reply back to him was this (with said document linked):
It’s that simple.
When you’re driving a project from point A to point B, a few extra seconds of your time will end up saving you hours (or even days!).
Do you ever feel stuck on the path to achieving your work goals?
Get our solutions-focused email Collective Thoughts. Each edition offers 5 practical ideas to help you manage your work with less overwhelm and more confidence.