Last month at Scale Up Summit, Michael Bungay Stainer, founder of “Box of Crayons” and author of the new book The Coaching Habit, inspired me with 2 questions:

  1.  How do I get to do more great work?
  2.  How do I help others do more great work?

Here’s what Michael said about bad, good, and great work.

  • Bad work – Has little to no impact; an energy drain and waste of time.  Michael’s acronym, WOMBAT, summed it up:  Waste of money, bandwidth and time. We don’t set out to do bad work, it happens over time.   
  • Good work – Is equivalent to your job description; useful and productive work done well.  It’s efficient, produces positive results but doesn’t really move the needle.  Typically, good work is our comfort zone where we spend most of our time.
  • Great work – Inspires; it’s meaningful and impactful.  Great work stretches you; it matters the most and makes the biggest difference.

So, with Michael’s guidance and wisdom, I drew up and sliced up my circle.

Here are the commitments I’ve made to myself to gain back the time I need to do more great work:

  • Get clear on what my WOMBAT activities are and start saying NO
  • Challenge myself to do more outside my comfort zone
  • Keep a weekly ‘circle’ journal to hold myself accountable for re-focusing time to do more great work.

How much of your time is spent doing bad work, good work, or great work?  Draw your circle and find out.  If you don’t draw it out, you’ll forever be guessing.  Want more of Michael?  Get his book The Coaching Habit.