Managers often complain to me about not getting their work done due to extraneous demands on their time. They keep being interrupted, cannot get their work done during the day, so stay late to get things done when it is quiet around the office. All this does is add guilt and a sense of failure.
Self-regulating is difficult when there are many tasks managers find themselves doing or involved in that are unnecessarily stealing their valuable time from them.
Here are some guidelines for regaining control over your time:
Remove low-value tasks from your list:
- Assess the real value of each task you do, based on its value to the organization and to you
- Decide whether to drop, delegate or redesign the task
- Make sure that the delegation is well thought out regarding whom to delegate to and at what stage to delegate the task
Take a critical look at meetings:
- Assess whether meetings are essential for you to attend
- Assess each meeting based on whether you make a contribution to the organization by attending the meeting. What value does each meeting add to your work?
- Decide if you need to bow out, send someone else from your team or clarify your role in the meeting.
- Make sure your replacement attendee understands their role in the meeting
- Ensure you get the feedback important for you to accomplish your goals in the firm.
Don’t fill the regained time with meaningless tasks:
Once you have freed up time beware that you do not get caught in the trap of filling it with new unimportant tasks.
Allocating your time is difficult, so it may be helpful to decide what you need time for before you do your task assessment. Write down the goal or share it with someone who will hold you accountable.
This way you will ensure that you follow through.
I can be your accountability partner. Email me!