I was talking to someone on my team about the things we need to get done and he said, “there’s not enough time in a day.” I took a step back and thought to myself, why is there not enough time in a day? Why are some people able to accomplish everything they need to in a day and others cannot? There are a few things that immediately come to mind, which are time management, priorities, effectiveness,and simply having the skills to succeed. Let’s go down this list one by one to better understand how these tools can help us free up more time.
This is an obvious one for most, but not all. Essentially, are we best utilizing our time and are there things we are spending too much time on? Years ago, I found myself struggling with getting everything done I needed to to complete a task. No matter how hard I tried, I simply was not meeting my deadlines. A mentor of mine took a look at everything I was doing and quickly found that I was doing too much. I was not doing too much in a sense where I had too much on my plate, but I was spending a good amount of my time on meaningless tasks. Are you spending time on meaningless tasks that are not essential to completing the project? If so, you should remove it from your to-do list and just complete what is essential to complete the project. There is also an order of operations that you need to be aware of. At each stage of the project, you should understand what is necessary to complete that stage. Lets say at the beginning of your project you just need to understand if something is feasible. I would recommend doing a quick paper exercise and not get too deep into the weeds. If you do find the project to be feasible and authorized by the key stakeholders on your team, then you may dig deeper into the project.
It is crucial to understand your priorities and be able to explain them to others when asked. A lot of times leadership asks me, “what are you working on?” They do not care about the ‘in-the-weeds’ work. They are looking for big projects that will impact the entire organization, which should be our priorities. Similar to being able to manage your time well, you need to manage your priorities and make sure nothing comes in the way between you and them. These priorities are the projects that will get you noticed because they are important to the business.
Know what you need to do and execute to gain results in a timely manner. You do not want to have projects or tasks lingering too long because this is a sign of you not being effective or being a procrastinator. When a priority comes across your desk, you should plan appropriately and take action without delay. Procrastination kills effectiveness and your ability to succeed.
First of all, you should be qualified to have the role you are in, or someone made a big mistake in hiring you. Additionally, if you are the owner of a business, then you should be 100% capable of running your business. If you do not have the right skills to do your job, then you are going to need training. At most corporations, you are able to take trainings provided by the company, which need to be taken advantage of. Additionally, any sort of school reimbursement programs should also be looked at to get ahead. It is not always all about having a degree, but being able to use the knowledge you gained from that degree. Certifications can also be valuable to you and should also be looked at.
I do believe having good time management skills, priority management skills, effectiveness,and simply having the skills to succeed will help you free up time. If you truly do have too much on your plate, it is important to slow down a little bit. As mentioned in my blog titled, Burnout is real, I talk about how people can get burned out and it is never fun. I am an offender when it comes to taking on too much and it is harder for me to say no, then try to be a hero. Eventually this does catch up with you and ends up badly (usually). Let me know your thoughts on this and if there are any I missed?