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Brian Tracy! Time Management! Defining the main duty

Time Management

Chapter 10. Defining the Main Duty

To be highly productive at work,

you need to focus on the most valuable

and important things throughout the day.

Understanding mission-critical tasks is essential

for high operational efficiency and productivity.

They are the things you were hired to do,

accomplish, or achieve.

They are your top priorities in terms

of the value you add to the company.

These are the tasks that,

when completed,

determine whether you will fulfill your responsibilities

to the company and to yourself.

What are the main tasks you were hired to complete?

Try asking this question another way:

“Why are you getting paid?”

This is an important organizational question

that you need to ask every moment of every day

– especially when you are overwhelmed

with so much to do with so little time.

A primary task can be defined as a task

that has three specific characteristics:

1. It is something

that you absolutely must do to fulfill the responsibilities

and requirements of the job.

2. It’s something you take full responsibility for.

If you don’t do it yourself,

no one else can or will do it for you.

3. It’s completely within your control.

You don’t need the support or involvement

of others to complete it.

If you’re not sure about your main duties,

ask your boss.

Ask him:

“What exactly am I getting paid for?”

It is quite surprising

that most managers do not know the answer

to this question.

They’ve never really thought

why you’re on the payroll,

or even why you’re on the payroll.

By asking this question

and forcing your boss

to think hard about it,

you’ll help both parties become more efficient

and productive at work.


Going in the right direction

A second question related to key tasks is:

“What can only I do that, if done well,

would make a real difference to the organization?”

In fact, there is a definite answer

to this question almost every time

of the day.

In your job,

there are things that only you can do.

If you don’t do those things,

no one else will do them for you.

If done well,

they will make a significant difference

to your job and your company.

These are the specific activities

that make the biggest contribution to your work.

To be at your top,

you must be fully aware of the highest-value activities

that only you can excel at.

Remember that there are always hundreds of little things

you can do that,

if done well,

make only a very small difference to your success.

Focusing on key tasks is the fastest way to drive efficiency,




and energy.

You will always feel full of confidence in your abilities

after completing something important

and meaningful to you and the company.

On the other hand,

in today’s age of disruptions,

you will feel self-conscious,


stressed and depressed doing something

that you know plays only a minor role in the performance

of your goals own main goal.


Identify the main tasks

Rarely does a job have more than 5 to 7 main tasks.

Each Key Task (KRA) is a specific task

that you must do

in order to fulfill your overall performance responsibilities.

For example, if you are a salesperson,

your main duties are:

1. Survey (find new customers to exchange)

2. Build trust and relationship with potential customers

so they are willing to listen to you

3. Accurately identify needs

4. Present your product persuasively

5. Respond to opposing opinions clearly

6. Close the sale decisively

7. Receive resale and referrals from satisfied customers

Each of these tasks needs to be done

so that you can fulfill your responsibilities

as a salesperson for the company.

As a manager,

you also have 7 main duties which are:

1. Make a plan (decide exactly what needs to be done)

2. Organization

(gathering the people, money,

and resources needed to complete the plan)

3. Recruiting

(finding the right people to work with you

and achieve your goals)

4. Delegation

(ensures that people know exactly what to do,

when and with what quality)

5. Supervision

(ensure each job is done on schedule

and meet quality requirements)

6. Measure

(set standards and milestones

and a roadmap for accomplishing important tasks)

7. Reporting

(make sure that each of your superiors,

subordinates and peers knows exactly what

you are doing and achieving what results)

More than 90% of your problems in management

and life are caused

by neglecting one of the main tasks above.

This is like omitting an important spice in a recipe.

For some reason,

the dish was no longer “delicious”.


Clarity is very important

Everyone at all levels of the organization

needs to know what their key responsibilities are.

Make sure all of your employees

are aware of their most valuable contribution to the organization.

One of the best things you can do for your employees

is to help them understand the most important

and valuable things they can do

and then help them achieve these goals on time.

No matter where you are in the organization,

you need to know two things:


First, what are your boss’s main duties?

What is the task he needs to complete

that is most important to the success of the organization?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions,

you won’t be able to help your boss complete the task

that’s so critical to your own success.


Second, you need to know what your main tasks are.

In addition,

each of your employees should know the answer to this question

as well as know his or her main tasks

in order of importance and the deadlines for completing them.

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