So, how are things going? Although the common response in the past was “fine,” we more often hear “busy” as a response. Culturally, busy has become a more attractive term than fine. Perhaps the recession taught us that if we were busy, we were doing okay. Even if we weren’t busy, we wanted the perception to be that we were because that equated to being successful. This trend recently prompted a viral New Year’s resolution on Facebook not to use the word “busy” at all in 2014. When you think about your life – work and home – is it true that you are busy all the time? Here are some ideas to ponder:
It is truly a job to be in control of my time. I’ve been saying for years that multitasking – including email – is highly inefficient. We have more time than we think we do. When you say, “I don’t have time for this,” truth is you have not made the time for it because people on average work 5.5 or 6 hours out of an 8-hour day.
To schedule or not to schedule
Sometimes we find ourselves in what feels like a perpetual meeting all day long. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to be there?” Set your priorities and make a choice. Be sure you can trust others to attend meetings and debrief you. If you keep your calendar in 15-minute increments, you’ll think about how precious those 15 minutes are.
Leave me alone
Down time is important. Whether you are catching up on industry news, or getting organized, understanding the impact on the rest of your team is crucial. Do they have authority if you are not available? Is delegation an expectation that you have of each other under certain circumstances?
It is not due to incompetence
If there is someone on your team who has a hard time getting their “job done” maybe the work process is wrong. Maybe they have too much workload, especially since companies are still relying on part-timers to do a full time job.
It sparks creativity and creates new opportunities
Work processes may be more involved than they need to be. Being in control of your day allows time to simplify. Exploring is part of good management. For example, we just implemented better staffing software, which should allow 20 percent more business with the same number of people.
As we get organized, we become more efficient. I recently went back to the “new” old Franklin Day Planner and cannot wait to be more in control of my day in 2014. When was the last time you felt there was plenty of time to get your work done?
Written by Jim Annis, President/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Tom Miller, and Suzanne Chennault, Applied’s division directors, contributed to this article.