Collaboration is great, however, it is a means, not an end. Action is what matters. As knowledge workers, we have to work at light speed because the people who interact with us every day push work on us easily. We are bombarded with email, content, projects and other forms of ambiguity.
If you can convert information into action quickly, then you move the ball forward in the value chain. Everything has to convert to action and the speed by which you do this will determine your value in your world.
Here are some ways to be action-oriented in your use of Google Apps and drive execution:
- Filter the noise. Differentiate your inbox between what is non-actionable and actionable content. Anything that is not actionable, archive it or delete it. Do it quickly. It becomes an obstacle to action.
- Think Next Steps. Always ask, what is the next step. If you see a threaded conversation continue, be sure to break out the actions by asking, “What is the next step?” Get concrete and become a master at converting concepts to action.
- Delegate with follow-up. You may have to set actions for others. Be sure to follow up. Keep a copy in a special label in your email and use this to check back on your requests.
- Set Appointments. If you need to set time and space for dialogue or making something happen, convert a dialogue into a calendar event quickly within your threaded communications. This moves it off of vague back and forth conversations to a place where you can drive focused dialogue.
- Capture Tasks Everywhere. Google Tasks should be accessible from your mobile device or any browser. If you think of something as it crosses your mind, capture it and quickly get it into your task list. This clears your mind and helps set you up for the next task. Take the extra step of using a verb to start the action. It forces clarity on your next step.
You have to determine what the next steps are. Google Apps enables you to move fast within this process if you are shaping your thinking and behaviors to align to action.
The pace of knowledge work will only increase. Your ability to focus and get work done is critical and using Google Apps around this working framework will make the most of this system.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below.