As business owners, executives and professionals we are very busy people. Many of us wish we had more time to get everything done. The unfortunate truth is that it wouldn’t matter if we had more time – we would simply keep creating too much to do! Instead, make time work for you.
To use the time you do have more effectively, change your attitude:
Multi-Tasking is a Myth. Thinking or doing something in addition to listening or working on a task creates mediocre results. And, more work in the long run due to customer dissatisfaction. Stay solely focused on the task at hand and you’ll get it done faster and better. This also works wonders when listening to others. It’s amazing what we miss when we’re not focused!
Pay Now or Pay Later. We use our busy-ness as an excuse for not taking the extra minute or half-hour now (or scheduling it for the near future) to hear what someone has to say, fully! Because we are poor listeners, it takes us longer to resolve an issue or get to where we are going. Unfortunately, it often takes us hours, days, months, and even years to resolve something that we could have resolved now.
Prioritize. Many of us wish we didn’t have to handle certain projects or handle sensitive employee issues. We’re late for meetings, or fail to ask for and receive needed direction.
As a boss or leader, you need to handle the toughest parts first! Being the boss doesn’t allow you to impede productivity of others because of your own inability to handle issues. The biggest obstacle? Not being prepared. Take time to break issues into smaller pieces. If you are unable to handle people issues or conflicts, appoint someone else to handle them for you. Talk with your coach if you don’t know how to break issues into smaller do-able pieces.
20 minute rule. Tackling anything unpleasant, but necessary? Set aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to handle tasks or issues (hint: shut the door and turn off voicemail or email). You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in a short period of time.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2010