Your job, no matter what field you’re in, is to make your job easier.
I’m not at all saying be lazy. Instead, be efficient. It will help productivity, while also save your sanity.
The digital space is often confusing for people who don’t fully or even partially understand it. A lot of times folks think they can send you a Word document and it’s a copy/paste job from there to get it online. For most of you reading this, you know that’s the furthest from the truth. There’s coding, and often lot’s of it, to transform the contents of that Word document to a www address.
What if you detailed requirements for those who submit content to you though? In those details, walk your customer/client through the process like you’re holding their hand. Eliminate the questions you’re frequently asking them by putting that information in the document. Also, add answers to the questions they’re asking you often. It’s for the benefit of both of you.
That one document could save numerous email trails and phone calls, saving time and headache. Imagine if you could receive everything you need in one shot, are able to shoot over a test page and receive approval right away. That would be ideal is almost any task-related situation.
This is just one minor example, but you can relate it to almost every job. I once read a book that discussed the author’s email habits. He was able to eliminate at least one email from each correspondence by answering potential questions in one email. For example, if he wrote someone looking to find out whether the Web servers were going to be ready for Oct. 1, he would write an if-so statement and and an if-not statement. That way the recipient would know what to do either way.
Process really is power. You’re in your role for a reason; you are the subject expert. That’s the first reason why there’s a bounty of questions coming your way. The other reason is often people don’t care to help you. But if you put the requirements in their hands, they almost have to. It’s a much more powerful mechanism than an e-mail telling someone what they’re doing wrong.
Doing a little bit of work now to help lay out a process is almost guaranteed to have a high success rate over time. Look for what recurring questions and tasks come your way regularly. Then evaluate how to eliminate guesswork and make your job easier.
Time is a luxury. Maximize the amount of it you have.