By: Dorothy Enriquez
Editor’s Note: This article was previously featured on The BOSS Network
I love bubbles. I bought a bubble machine once for a photo shoot. I had a lot of fun with it until it broke. I wanted to catch every single bubble that came out of the machine: big ones, small ones, some as big as my head–But there were just too many. After a while, I got tired.
Accomplishing tasks in our business, whether it is a 9 – 5er, our side-hustle or a self-owned-business, it can feel very similar to trying to pop all of the bubbles coming out of the bubble machine. There are too many, how big they will be cannot be pre-determined and there is no way of knowing when it will stop. This is analogous to our laundry list tasks, self-inflicted honey-do lists as well as unexpected fires that need to be extinguished. Covey describes our lives as having four quadrants. He indicates we should spend most of our time in quadrant 2. But, how many of us really do?
The DOT-Tributors have gotten this down to a science. We have a system we affectionately call: The Genius Zone. It’s that special part of us where all of our skills, talents and knowledge collide and our specific magic mix cannot be duplicated by any other team member. When in the genius zone, a DOT-Tributor can accomplish a 60-minute task in 2/3 or even 1/2 the time. How, you ask?
We love you–so we’ll give you a few ingredients to our secret sauce.
- Know Thy Strengths – Identify areas where you’re strong and really excel. Share those highlights with the team. This will help your manager and/or team members strategically plan what tasks to assign you. You’ll not only like the new projects/assignments, but you’ll also shine because you can enter your genius zone and stay there for extended lengths of time—instead of being a firefighter. Don’t know your strengths? An excellent book to help aid in the self-discovery is Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton.
- Delegation – It’s not all about YOU boo! Company first, then team, then you. After considering the company’s strategic goals and visions, the team is the next priority. There’s no ‘I’ in team. But, there are other human resources. Use them! Why pull your hair out when help is a phone call, IM, or cubicle away? Delegate things that you can’t do and even things you don’t want to do. In many cases, things that we don’t like can be delegated to someone who loves it like a fat kid loves cake. Done and done!
- First, we need to say what we’re going to do. This ensures efforts will not be duplicated or attempted by other team members so we can avoid re-work. This saves the company money or at least keeps us on budget.
- Second, we must do what we said we were going to do (in the working world we call this accountability and responsibility). It sounds simple enough. But so often we add something to our list and the lack of follow-up in the corporate and entrepreneurial world is staggering. As fellow BOSS Brittany Applegate once said, the favor is in the follow-up.
- Third, communicate when we cannot accomplish what we said we were going to do. In the end, we’re a team. We are working towards a common goal: to help our organization go from good to great. We’ll need to band together and figure out how to support our fallen soldier in whatever task that needs to get done. Ultimately, we are only as strong as our weakest link.
When we enter the hemisphere of our genius zone we communicate to the other team members via text, email or phone that ‘we’re in the zone’. We know to give that individual time and space to ‘zone in’ and make magic on behalf of our organization. In today’s society, there is a lack of focus due to impacted attention to multi-tasking. For us Gen Y-ers aka Millennials, we LIVE for multi-tasking; however, for the rest of the team who could be comprised of X-ers and Baby Boomers, all that multi-tasking is not sexy. Moreover, studies have indicated that that it is not as effective or efficient as working on one task as a time. According to Psychology Today these findings have demonstrated that when we shift focus from one task to another, that transition is neither fast nor smooth. Instead, there is a lag time during which our brain must yank itself from the initial task and then glom onto the new task. This shift, though it feels instantaneous, takes time. In fact, up to 40 percent more time than single tasking – especially for complex tasks.
Therefore, we embrace and encourage the genius zone–and we think you should to. How awesome would it be to have the opportunity to do what we do best every day?! For those of us who are solopreneurs, stay at home mommies, working in Corporate America or at a start-up, there’s no feeling quite like being in the genius zone. Feeling like we’ve brought the best of who we are to the team is rewarding; it keeps us engaged and continually wanting to not only do our best but achieve more.
Cheers to the geniuses who also consider themselves DOT-Nistas!
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