From ad hoc to goal-oriented way of working

Ad hoc working methods are very common in today’s companies. It is a constant stress to meet all the deadlines, emails and chats and the calendar is fully booked. When is it time to do your own tasks? There are ways to strike a better balance between everything going on and time for your own tasks. In this article, you will read how you can create a more goal-oriented way of working.


Ad hoc working methods are very common in today’s companies. It is stressful having to meet all the deadlines, email and chat are constantly calling for attention and the calendar is jam-packed with meetings. When will it be time to do your own tasks? It feels as if you must work around the clock.

There is high risk of working in an ad-hoc, event-driven manner. But there are ways that provide a better balance between reacting to everything that happens and making time for your own tasks. In this article you will read how you can work in a more goal-orientated structure.

Multitasking is not the way to go

In many of today’s companies and organisations, most employees are white-collar workers. Many employees can therefore influence much of their daily performance level. It is therefore extremely important that everyone prioritises the right tasks.

The access to large amounts of information and the possibility of fast communication via many channels means that we are constantly in ‘stand by’ mode. We write, receive and wait for mail or chat etc., use several computer programs at the same time, easily answer yes to meeting invitations and at meetings we bring the computers with us so that our multitasking can continue.

It seems that we believe that efficiency is measured by how much we do at the same time. Research shows that it is just the opposite. By doing two things at once (which require concentration), it takes a total of 25% longer to get them done than if we did them one at a time

The secret of your future is hidden  
in your daily routine. 

Mike Murdock

Become more productive and reduce your stress with a goal-oriented way of working

Because we have a constant flow of communication, tasks and interruptions, there is a risk that we will not see the full extent of our work. We only see what we have on our ‘to-do’ list for the day. The rest is a bit abstract.

To see your full workload is a way of cementing it in your mind. By making the tasks visible by writing them down, you can look at the list and think about what you need to do in the next month. Write down the most important information. Then you set goals for what you want to have achieved with each work task by the end of the month. The next step might be to make a rough estimate of how much time you need to complete each goal.

The more you make your tasks visible, the more concrete they become and the easier they are to remember.

Once you have you have a target for your tasks for the next month, you can plan when to do them. Some tasks may take many hours and can be booked as work meetings in your calendar. Book appointments with yourself to make them visible in the calendar and therefore more easily prioritise the right tasks every day.

When the calendar has a mix of own work meetings and other meetings, it will also feel easier to prioritise the right tasks every day. You have set times for your own tasks, which means you have a plan. You feel that you will succeed and with that feeling your stress also decreases.

With your own work meetings with a clear purpose and goal in the calendar, it becomes much easier to prioritise the most important work tasks every day. 

Ulla Lilliehöök

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