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Have you ever left a work meeting and wondered: What exactly did we accomplish during the meeting? Or, have you said “yes” to a project and then wondered how it fits into the company’s larger vision and goals? Maybe you’ve spent the entire morning responding to emails and wondered how much it mattered.

In our quest for greater productivity and success, we may fall into the trap of having too many meetings or taking on too much work without understanding whether they align with company objectives. Your to-do list gets longer, and by the end of the week, month, or quarter, you may look back and wonder what was accomplished with all those little things you did.

“No” is an answer you can give to your boss or coworkers when Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are in play. OKRs are a collaborative goal-setting methodology used by teams and individuals to set challenging, ambitious goals with measurable results. They help define the goal of work (Objectives) and ways to measure progress toward that goal (Key Results). This helps to identify when a task or project doesn’t align with the goal, which can reduce unnecessary work and help guide prioritization. The following are some ways OKRs can help you become more productive and successful.

Keeps Work on Track with Focused Goals

OKRs help create better alignment and visibility into work. They help determine how your work contributes to the overall goal. If it doesn’t, perhaps it’s time to question whether the task should be a lower priority or eliminated. Plus, when team members have a clear picture of what they are trying to achieve and the significance of the task, they are more productive and engaged at work.

Reduce One-off Tasks

One of the pitfalls of traditional goal-setting methods is the proliferation of one-off tasks — small, ad-hoc assignments without clear alignment to strategic objectives. These tasks can take up valuable time and resources without significantly contributing to the organization’s goals. By some estimates, the average worker spends about half of every workday on tasks with little to no value.

OKRs help reduce one-off tasks by encouraging teams to focus on initiatives directly tied to their objectives. If you evaluate each task in the context of whether it moves the needle towards achieving the Objective, teams can weed out low-priority tasks and avoid getting bogged down by busy work. This streamlined approach ensures that efforts are concentrated on high-impact activities, maximizing productivity and efficiency.

Cuts Unnecessary Meetings

Have you ever walked out of a meeting and wondered what was achieved? Consider this: A survey by Salary.com found that 47 percent of respondents considered meetings to be the number one time-waster in the workplace. Another survey by Microsoft.) found that 69 percent of respondents felt that meetings were not productive nor efficient.

Meetings have earned a notorious reputation for consuming valuable time while yielding minimal results. OKRs promote a culture of accountability, where individuals take ownership of their work and proactively communicate progress, which can help reduce unnecessary meetings. With a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished and how, frequent check-ins and status updates are reduced, freeing up time that would otherwise be spent in unproductive meetings. By streamlining communication and reducing the reliance on meetings, OKRs enable teams to focus their time and energy on execution, driving greater efficiency and results.

How to Align With OKRs

In addition to streamlining work, OKRs play a critical role in aligning the purpose of individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole. By fostering clarity, breaking down silos, driving employee engagement, and enhancing organizational performance, OKRs ensure that everyone is working towards common goals and contributing to the overarching purpose of the organization. Work is more focused, and a team can align its efforts more effectively toward goals.

As businesses strive to maximize productivity and drive success, OKRs have grown to become a powerful tool for reducing unnecessary work and aligning efforts with the organization’s purpose and strategic priorities. Scaled OKRs can help guide you to achieve unparalleled success through effective strategy execution and fostering a winning organizational culture.

To learn how your organization can be more productive and goal-driven while reducing unnecessary work, contact our team to set up a free consultation. Or, if you’d like to learn more about how OKRs can help your organization, check out HyperDrive’s OKR Certification Courses.

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