This weekend is the first for a while that we aren't going to be able to fill with tennis. Looking back on some smashing performances from this year’s Wimbledon, I’ve been inspired by the way top performers approach challenges to come out on top – on and off the court. Brace yourself for lots of tennis-related references as I coach you to champion of the office with these ways to have a winning week!
Warm Up: Know Your Opponent
As every champion knows, the key to winning is preparation. Warm up for the week ahead by preparing a list of tasks to tackle and put together a rough schedule. Don’t forget anything that might be due next month but needs to be started next week. It’s a good idea to mix small / quick tasks in with bigger ones to give yourself the satisfaction of having completed something, without being tempted by distractions from the bigger project. Prioritise your tasks by importance and deadlines so by the end of the week you’re ready and raring for the next.
Game: Pick Up Points
As you start to work through your tasks, you should be picking up some easy points by completing quick and / or routine tasks. Get into a groove and challenge yourself to find more efficient, effective ways to do things. If you can automate a process that’s even better! This way, processes become less of a chore and you’ll have more time to concentrate on the trickier stuff, with room for anything unexpected that needs to be actioned quickly. Advantage: you.
Set: Wear ‘Em Down
So about those bigger tasks… The secret here is to break them down into chunks and be realistic about how long each part will take to complete. The hardest part of completing a big task is starting, so do yourself a favour and make the task less daunting. For example, if you need to prepare for a meeting with a big potential client who’s asked you to present stats on your performance within their industry and examples of star candidates you’re currently representing, don’t leave it all till the day before. Instead request the numbers from your data team ASAP and let them know when you’ll need them by, or set aside time to pull the reports yourself – that’s chunk number one. Chunk number two is putting the PowerPoint slides together with time to practice what you’ll say and chunk three is selecting premier candidates to show off (left till last to allow for anyone outstanding to pop up just before the meeting). With this technique, those bigger tasks will be conquered in no time and you’ll have break point.
Match: Victory Lap
Once you’ve aced those assignments and smashed those tasks, give yourself a moment to soak it all up at the end of each day and week. It’s so easy to focus on what you’ve still to do, forgetting what you’ve already achieved. Take stock, tick off your to-dos, and grab a cup of tea (or bottle of beer if you’re that way inclined!). It’s a great motivator to look back on everything you’ve done when you feel like you’ve done not much at all, so celebrate your victories, prepare for the next round and you’ll reach the number one spot!
What other winners do you have up your sleeve? Just for fun, I’d love to see how you can shoe-horn tennis references in too, so get commenting below and let’s see what you’ve got!
Cassandra is a Tester, UX enthusiast, blogger, speaker, software investigator, quality activist. Ex-product owner, -business analyst.