Yesterday evening I asked my daughter to help me prepare dinner. It’s something we enjoy doing together. She was however submerged in a video game and I heard “5 minutes I need to get to a save point”. This game has a lot of side missions and 20 minutes later it turned out that she’d come across one of these side missions and off she’d trotted to save the day. “What happened to 5 minutes?” “Oh yea, I forgot.”
She’ll call me “AD Dad” when I often go back into a room and not done what I left the room to do. “Where’s your cup of tea?” “Oh yea, I knew I went into the kitchen to do something.” “What did you do instead?” “Whilst the kettle was boiling I noticed I hadn’t taken the clothes off the washing line. As I was doing that I noticed some strawberries were ripe for picking so got a bowl. Then I noticed the dog’s water bowl needed filling and then I came back… minus the tea.”
We all suffer from attention deficiency to a certain degree which is fine when playing a game or when making a cup-of-tea (or not), but can be a real problem in the workplace. People are distracted all the time, especially by email, and waste so much of the one resource you can’t replace, time.
People end up being busy doing little and wonder why the work piles up and extra hours have to be put in to meet deadlines. Productivity goes down, costs go up and people become de-motivated and stressed.
A coherent strategy plan can be broken down to monthly and weekly targets which can then be broken down into daily objectives and tasks if necessary. It can help you see what’s important and what needs to get done for the good of the company. You can turn off your email and the demands of others can wait because you know what you need to achieve. And if others ask you to do something which isn’t part of the strategy plan then you can question the need to do it.
As a leader, not only will your strategy plan and strategic planning system guide you, it will help you and your people do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, keep motivation high, stress low and will help you use your most precious resource, your time, as effectively as possible.
How do you manage your time more effectively? Please share your ways to help others.
Image courtesy of xscion.com