This is a guest blog post, written by our amazing Lifehack Coach Amy Kuchan!
When I first came across Lifehack Method, I was totally overwhelmed.
As a contractor juggling multiple clients, I was constantly bouncing between email accounts – prioritizing quick responses over actual work. I felt behind and exhausted at the end of the day; always wondering what email was lurking in the background. I knew it wasn’t sustainable; I needed a way to set boundaries while serving my clients.
I found the Lifehack Method through their Winning the Week Masterclass, and the rest is history!
One of the tactics I learned and implemented immediately was a Communication Policy – an email auto-responder that provides detailed information about when and how they will hear from me.
Implementing that one tool almost instantly alleviated one of my main sources of tension and anxiety.
But here’s the thing…
Not all bosses want to learn about your new Communication Policy when they receive it as an auto-response to their latest email request.
If you want to make significant changes to your workflow, you’ll want to communicate clearly with your boss from the start.
Ready to enroll your boss in your new productivity systems?
Let’s dive into some practical steps to do just that.
1. Request a meeting
I know, I know, we do our best to avoid unnecessary meetings at Lifehack…
But scheduling a meeting with your boss is a crucial first step to making real changes to your workflow. This gives them the space to ask all of the questions that they have, and gives you the opportunity to explain how this will improve your productivity and performance.
2. Bring your boss INTO the plan
The most powerful thing you can do in this situation is involve your boss in the process. Don’t make them feel like they’re out of the loop.
BEFORE hopping into the nitty gritty, let them know you’re learning new skills to increase your productivity and that you’re excited because you see opportunities to make a significant positive impact using these tools at work.
In this step, you’re getting them on your team and opening their mind to new, positive change. This will benefit you in the long run because your boss will know you’re working together to improve your contribution and effectiveness (not just pushing back on the work norms in your company’s culture).
3. Lay out their “WHY”
Choose and introduce the LEVERAGED work goal you intend to meet and explain how it’s going to POSITIVELY IMPACT your boss and your company.
(When choosing a goal, ask yourself Gary Keller’s leveraging question: “What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”)
This is essential. If you want to enroll them in the Lifehack Method, make sure they’re enrolled in the end goal.
If your main objective isn’t something they’re interested in, STOP HERE. Move forward when you’ve identified a goal you’re BOTH motivated to achieve.
4. Once they’re enrolled in the WHY, break down the HOW
This is where you introduce the key changes you want to make.
“In order to (insert long-term work goal your boss is excited about), I want to batch my emails, block off 3 hours a day for deep work, and step away from non-essential meetings.”
Keep in mind, this might be a bit of an educational session. Make sure you can explain how each piece is a win-win and give definition to terms like “deep work” (which is the unique work they hired you to do)!
Depending on your boss and the work hacks you’re hoping to implement, you might start small in this section and build on it as their confidence grows in you and as you become more familiar with Lifehack Method’s methodology.
If you’ve been tracking meeting data, have this data with you. Use it to educate in a respectful manner.
5. Give them the opportunity to respond or ask questions
As you respond to their feedback, keep in mind that these ideas might be totally new for them. Speak openly and confidently about your experience – maybe even share an example of how it’s already made a positive impact in your work.
Validate their concerns if they have them, and if necessary, ask for a trial window. That might sound like:
“I know this goes against the “norm,” but I truly believe these shifts will make it possible for us to (insert outcome they are enrolled in). Are you open to me trying this for the next __ weeks? We can touch base on my progress at that point and revise our strategy if necessary.”
Be open to the idea of a big GREEN LIGHT! If they’re truly enrolled, they may even take something OFF your plate that you aren’t expecting. It can happen!
6. Schedule a follow up (if they want one)
If they still have questions, schedule a follow up.
This will reassure them that they’re part of the process. You aren’t going rogue and disrespecting everyone – you’re intentional, confident in your decisions, and open to collaboration with them. Check in, share the progress you’ve made, and get their feedback.
7. Sit back and celebrate what you just accomplished
It’s time to celebrate! Your willingness to advance your skills, take your work to the next level, and lay out a leveraged plan of action to your boss is a STAND OUT MOMENT.
Not only have you shown yourself to be a leader in your organization, you’re now walking away with CLEAR FEEDBACK from your boss. No matter the response, you leave this conversation with MASSIVE CLARITY on the future of your workflow, which then empowers your future decision-making.
Congratulations, Lifehacker, you’re on your way!
Not enrolled in a Lifehack Method program yet? Click here to get started.