Time management isn’t that important when it comes to your productivity.
Yes, you read that right…
You’ve had success in your career because you’ve shown discipline, skill, organisational qualities (such as time management) and commitment. But now something’s missing. Something that you need to get to the next level.
This is one of the biggest issues I come across as a coach. People spend so long analysing their own productivity, their strengths and weaknesses, and what to prioritise, without looking at the bigger picture.
Are you stressed out? Working too many hours? Not having the growth that you want? Not spending enough time with your loved ones?
Well, take note of this wakeup call. It’s never about time management, it’s a bigger problem than that. You know what you need to be doing and when, but you’re not doing it.
It’s one of two things – pride or prejudice.
Of course, pride is a great quality to have, but in some contexts, it can actually start to hold you back.
Pride in your work, wanting to do a good job, keeping up standards and quality etc. sounds great, but here’s the problem – you personally only have so much time to trade on.
It’s important to let go if you want to grow.
It’s OK not to be able to do everything yourself. It’s OK to admit that your workload has become slightly overwhelming.
Prejudice – “preconceived opinion that’s not based on reason or actual experience”
Do you find yourself thinking that you need to do everything yourself to get the outcome that you want? Do you think that no-one can possibly do the job as well as you?
Or even the opposite – do you worry that someone else might do it better than you?!
Pride or prejudice – different problem, same solution
Whichever your issue, and whether you’re at the high or low end of either spectrum, the issue comes down to delegation. Specifically, a refusal to delegate, or to even consider how to go about it.
Let’s see if we can change that.
Delegate, delegate, delegate. A crucial skill for managers everywhere to learn. And skill is the right word, it’s a mindset and a practical craft that does need developing like any other skill. It takes practice and conscious thought.
Without proper delegation you can only do so much before your workload becomes too much. You can only grow your business so much before things start to grind to a halt.
What can you do about it?
As I said, it’s all about mindset. Start by following these simple steps:
1) Identify one BIG thing
Start by identifying one big thing that you do on a regular basis, something that takes you a significant amount of time – make some notes about why it’s important, what the standards are etc.
2) Choose someone
Choose a person in your team or a suitable colleague to bring into the task. Someone you believe has the capability to do the job. REMEMBER, try to overcome your prejudice – of course they won’t do it as good as you the first time round but give them a chance. Patience now will bring much long-term reward later.
3) The one-to-one
Arrange a one-to-one meeting and talk it through with the other person. Let them know why you’ve chosen them, help to build their confidence by expressing your belief in them.
4) The plan of action
Let them create a plan of action and discuss it with you to make sure they’ve covered all bases.
5) Leave it alone!
Leave them to get on with it on their own (this is the hard part, don’t interfere!). That said, make it clear that they have your support and can ask for help if they need it.
6) Check in
How did it go? What did they do well and what could they have done better? Don’t miss this step! It helps you to relax knowing you’ll have a chance to review the end result and it helps to encourage them for next time knowing they’ve got your support.
Embrace the challenge
Any worthwhile change is often challenging because it calls for a shift in our thinking and behaviour. If this feels daunting and you’re not sure where to start, consider reaching out to your own line manager or a coach for some support.
The coaching option
Just about every single coaching client I’ve ever had has had to overcome pride, prejudice or both.
Some people can have prejudicial beliefs about coaches too and wonder whether they’re really worthwhile – but look at the top sports people, they all have coaches to help them to raise their game. If the likes of Rory McIlroy and Roger Federer can’t achieve it all on their own, should you be trying to?
Acknowledging that you can’t be good at EVERYTHING or that you no longer have the time to do it all yourself is a big step in itself and the first step towards the solution. It’s OK to reach out for help. It can be tough, but when all’s said and done, I guarantee you it’s rewarding in more ways than one.
What if all of those ideas you’ve got in your head, those goals you wrote down at the start of the year, the targets you’ve set yourself, could become a reality?
I’ve helped people just like you change their lives and businesses. If you don’t try, you’ll never know where you could have got to with the right help.
Check out the testimonials on my website – each and every one of these started with a conversation. Give me a call and let’s start making some bold moves.
- Liz Pollard, 07896 950017