Conway Daily Sun September 15, 2010
By Michael Kline
Back from vacation, back from lunch, or back from the future, getting back to work is usually seen as a negative comment with undertones that involve drudgery and, well – work! However, properly placed and used with the right attitude, the phrase “back to work” might just be the most profitable phrase you can say.
In this back to school, back to work season, most people are thinking less about vacation and time off and more about, that which pays the bills and builds their futures. It’s easy to think about that Sunday night feeling of having to get back to work, but what about during the work day? You take a short break to get a coffee – is that two minutes, five minutes, or ten minutes? Do you sit and visit over coffee for your break or grab the coffee and get “back to work”, nursing the coffee at your desk? Of course, some jobs require the full break experience, and are not appropriate to have drinks at the actual work site, but I hope you can see the point I’m trying to make. When you are interrupted by a co-worker who wants to socialize, you can say “I’d love to hear all about that, but I have to get back to work”. If you take lunch away from your work station (I hear some people do), then do you ever get up ten minutes early and say “I’ve got to get back to work”? Upon receiving a personal phone call, you can end it politely with, “I’ve got to get back to work”. I imagine most people could say “back to work” 5-10 times a day and double their productivity. If you double your productivity, could you double your income?
Your employer probably won’t give you a 100% raise tomorrow, but in time, you cannot help but double your income. Down south, they say “get-r-done”, but whatever you call it, this get “back to work” habit will make you one of the most noticeably productive people in the company. That is almost always accompanied by advancement, even if you decide to go elsewhere to take advantage of your greatly increased value.
Now if doubling your value has you intrigued, you may be wondering if it really works. Here’s the thing – being known as the one who always has to get “back to work” means you need to always have a pile of work to do. Most people actually don’t – well they do, but they can’t identify a piece of work to do at any given moment. Other employees will wonder what you have to do that’s so much more important than their work – you can create the difference by planning better. If you start the day by simply making a quick “to do” list you can constantly be getting back to work and tackling the list. If you have to sit down and re-start your brain after every interruption with a what-should-I-do-now approach, you may as well stay on break. Having to think about what you should do next is as big a time-waster as socializing. Ironically, the more you accomplish, the better you feel about the work and yourself, and work becomes far less work-like.
So the secret of the day for doubling your value is an old adage you’ve heard a thousand times – make your plan and work your plan. The trick to turning that adage into reality is to start with baby steps – today you can do this – you don’t need to take a class on making plans. The plan is, a to-do list, and getting it done is, simply executing the list. So, back to work, back to work, back to work. Surely, you’re reading this paper before or after work, possibly at the Met over a great local-roasted coffee – fine. Now get back to work!