28 Mar 2018
Time to Do As You Please

Time to Do As You Please

Possibly the single most common frustration I hear from senior people is that they do not have enough time to achieve what they want to achieve.

Just recently I heard the lament, “I even have no time for thinking”. We live in the third or fourth recorded millennium, depending on where you live, and enjoy the most prolific sources of advice about life, management and leadership of any era.

So, what’s the problem?

Surely, we have figured this time thing out by now.

It seems not.

One can argue that the complexity of modern existence presents time usage problems not experienced by our predecessors and this is certainly the case. The outside environment is also in a period of change that occurs at a pace without precedent. In all respects our ancestors did not have the same life experience as we do and did not have to deal with as much, or as fast as we do.

No wonder the sources of advice appear to be a bit limited in value.

What can be done?

Decisions on how to spend your time at work

All the time you use at any moment is the product of a decision – reading this piece is taking up your time and you are doing it because you decided to read it.

If you decide to give up work and live on the charity of the Nation, you would have all the time you need to do as you please.

If you decide for a career in senior management, you bring along with that decision a host of ways in which you can use up your time.

A host of things to do

The next tier of decisions, after the main idea of a career, concerns what you will do with your time. Clearly you will not be attending every single operational meeting in your business and so you decide which will be the most effective use of your time and attend those.

Here the precedent is set: I will not do everything and so I will delegate stuff.

Delegate? To whom?

Delegate to everyone and delegate everything that does not require your unique input. Great as this sounds, the barrier will be your own unwillingness based on the distrust you ‘feel’ that important issues will not be dealt with to your satisfaction.

How do we solve this dilemma?

Have people that ‘work’

Train your people until they meet your standards, until you trust them. Train them by challenge, by mentoring, by formal programmes, by any means available to you. Train your people until you feel that you can confidently delegate everything to them.

All time usage is a product of the decisions you make and in business, the decisions you make about your time depend on what others can do for you.

Time to train them up.

Governing Change programme – A fast track for senior people.