How many times in a day do you say, “no I’m too busy”? “I can’t do that because I’m far too busy”? What are you really saying to the person that has reached out to ask for your help or input?
I’ll tell you – that you’re far too important and can’t be arsed to help them with their menial task! It also tells me that you’re clearly rubbish at managing your time…. extra training coming your way….
How does that sound to you? Is that the message that you want to be giving to managers, peers or your team?
Before you go to your default response today of ‘I’m too busy’ consider taking action and doing one or all the below:
Look through your work list and decide what is important and what is urgent – not necessarily the same thing. Use your knowledge and skill to set out a plan of what you will deliver and stick to it. Set about doing 4/5 things a day – too many more and you will feel overwhelmed and then rarely deliver anything. Look at the urgent only and those that truly add value to you, your team and the business.
There will be some tasks that others can and should be doing for you. Whether it’s a control thing or a lack of trust thing on your part make sure today instead of (or as well as) doing a ‘to do list’ make a ‘delegate to list’. Other people will often relish the opportunity to take on more and help out – expanding their knowledge and experiences – make use of their enthusiasm and help yourself.
Make sure today you hold yourself fully accountable for how you spend your time. Make conscious choices to limit your ‘busyness’ and focus on top/urgent priorities.
When an urgent task doesn’t get done, acknowledge that you have chosen to use your time doing something less productive. Instead of saying “I ran out of time,” try saying “I chose to do X today instead of Y” or “I’m focusing on the wrong things.” Once you acknowledge that you control your time, you can hold yourself accountable for misusing it and decide to improve.
I know it isn’t easy to help everyone and fit everything in but just consider the messages you are giving out and you may even notice others willing to ask ‘well how can I help’ or ‘what can I do’ instead of them just thinking you think you’re far too important – believe me – you’re not!
If one of your tasks is HR, then remember you could always look to delegate this. Give us a call to see how we can support this function which may give you some time back to focus on other urgent tasks.