Are any of these things part of your normal day-to-day?
- You are constantly being pulled in a million directions.
- You are constantly reacting to the “emergency of the day.”
- You are constantly needed for approvals and reviews.
- You can’t get your own work done because you are a slave to others’.
- You start early and finish late but still can’t seem to get everything done.
- You feel busy all day, but you can’t really point to anything specific that you finished at the end of it.
If you experience any one of these on a day-to-day basis, you could be in trouble.
We all experience these symptoms from time to time, but if it happens for too many days (or weeks) in a row, something is broken.
It’s normal to ebb and flow like this. What’s not normal is experiencing these symptoms chronically.
Here are some things you can think/do/remember that will help alleviate these symptoms:
There is always an infinite amount of work to be done–so working harder or longer isn’t a feasible long-term solution.
Just because it’s urgent doesn’t mean it’s important. Define what’s important first, then go after what’s important AND urgent.
I can admit, it feels good to be needed, but if people can’t move forward on their work because they need something from you, YOU are the bottleneck. Your team is counting on your to empower them with the tools and resources to move faster without you overseeing every little thing.
Being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. Productive means you have a measurable output. Busy is just an “energy consumption” metric that tells you your RPMs.
2 Minute Action:
Here are some options for today.
- Look up the Eisenhower Decision Matrix and use it to prioritize your tasks for today.
- Schedule a “retrospective” with your team, partner, colleagues, or clients. In it, you should ask “what went so well that we should keep doing it?” and “what should we stop doing or could be improved?”
- Create a Scrum board that makes it really clear what is done and what is still being worked on.
It’s your responsibility to identify and solve problems in yourself, for your clients, for your patients, for your students, or for your team.
Until you train and empower them to, no one else is going to do it for you.