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,
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.
“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,
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)
(gathering the people, money,
and resources needed to complete the plan)
(finding the right people to work with you
and achieve your goals)
(ensures that people know exactly what to do,
when and with what quality)
(ensure each job is done on schedule
and meet quality requirements)
(set standards and milestones
and a roadmap for accomplishing important tasks)
(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.
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.