Getting paid to write snarky emails


I watched a video about productivity. The speaker suggested that we identify our “A” work, that is, what we do best, and do more of it. We should do less of our “B” and “C” work, and avoid doing anything we might rate a “D” or “F”.

Write down ten or twenty activities you do in your business and grade them. Assign an “A” to your best work, a “B” to work that might not be your best but that you usually do well enough, and so on.

The more “A” work you do, she said, the better, suggesting that you will be happier and so will your clients or customers.

But is that true?

What if our “A” work is something we don’t enjoy? I’m good at making cold calls but I don’t like it. I certainly don’t want to do more of it.

Sometimes, we do things we’re good at simply because we have to. But we don’t want to do them any more than we have to. Hiring and firing come to mind.

There’s another element missing from the equation: value. What if our “A” work isn’t an important part of the job?

You may be good at editing videos, for example, and enjoy it, but if you don’t create them often or they don’t bring in a lot of business, finding ways to do more editing isn’t going to help you build your practice. What’s more, your editing skills aren’t your highest and best use. You could pay someone $30 an hour to do it while you earn $300 an hour doing legal work.

As you go through your list of work activities, assign a letter grade for all three elements: what you do best, what you enjoy, and what contributes the most value to you or to your clients.

Ideally, you’ll find some activities that all get all “A”s.

What do you do with the rest? Eliminate them, if possible. Delegate them. Or, if they are necessary and they can’t be done by anyone else (be honest), see if you can do them less often or more quickly so you’ll have more time to do your triple-A work.

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