Skip to main content

Respecting Time

Work is a marathon, and correctly pacing yourself has to be a part of any long distance race.

Effective time management has never been more important, and yet it is more difficult to achieve than ever before.   There has to be compromise.   Over the past two weeks, I have spent 1.5 days in my base office.  I had 4 days leave (and all my colleagues told me to relax and enjoy them), and 4 days in my 2 coastal offices, where we were either in conference or meeting with clients.

So, not a lot of time to answer eMails, except in the evenings.  And yet there is an expectation that there will not be a delay in response times.   While this might be OK in a large corporate where there are lots of people to delegate to(although I somehow doubt it), sometimes there just isn't anybody who can take over a particular task, especially in smaller companies.    There also appears to be a perception that, if the eMailer gives a deadline, that is the only deadline in the recipient's diary.

Not to mention the fact that there are the many day to day functions that need to be managed, in order to function effectively.

Interestingly, there is a lot of irritation from co-workers about people who respond to eMails at 11 pm or 3 am.   The perception is that they are creating unreasonable expectations for all of their colleagues.   No time to do it during the day, resented for doing it at night, is there an answer?

Not a single one, no.    There are a lot of great time management models, but my split structure is the one I find works best, and it fits into the South African vernacular where Just Now can mean in two minutes or two weeks.   It goes something like this:

Right Now   - has to be done, no compromise

  • Structured daily time, no interruptions, maximum one hour at a time
  • Include time to think every day
  • Work from a list (ticking it off is enormously satisfying)
Just Now - has to be kept under control
  • Things that need to be done daily, but are not deadline driven
  • Answering eMails
  • Routine tasks
  • Personal issues
Not Now - has to revitalise you
  • Genuine down time
  • Do something that is for you
A question I ask myself often is whether we all being driven by the work ethic of the burn outs of the future?   It is really very important to give all your attention to your family, friends and colleagues, when you are with them.   It can be very difficult when your mind is constantly on the move!

Respecting the time we have is a tough ask, sometimes we need to forget about stress and pressure and just be...   It builds energy for the next round.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Which Wolf are you Feeding?

Which Wolf are you Feeding?
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life: (Sources – See below) A fight is going on inside me, he said to the boy.   It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.   One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and every other person, too. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather “Which wolf will win?” The old man replied simply “ The one you feed”. When I came across this story in a thriller by Michael Robotham, my reaction was immediate.  This is a great hook for creating positive thinking and, importantly to our business, a new way to approach an age old concern. Feeding the good wolf - focusing on the right stuff!  The message …

Thinking of leaving - should you discuss it with your manager?

The exit interview is not the time to tell your manager that you would have stayed if.....   When you are serious about your career, and really enjoy your job, except for one key component, take the time to talk before you resign.

While sometimes the grass is greener, more often than not you just inherit new issues at a new company.

It is a difficult labour market in South Africa right now, there is a skills shortage, and yet there are millions of people without jobs.   Working for a stable company, with people you like, and a job you enjoy is important, and yet there are often those frustrations that give you itchy feet.

In your current position, your manager might really want to keep you, and be very interested in finding out what would make you a happier, more productive, employee.   It is also sometimes much easier to have that conversation with somebody you already know, than have it in your first weeks in a new position.

When you know you have choices, as well as know that you …

Feeding the Right Wolf

Feeding the Right Wolf This Cherokee story resonated with me (see below). Like many business people, I get caught up in managing details, instead of focusing on strategy and growth.Measuring myself against the Good Wolf concept has become a way of thinking for me. Feeding the good wolf - focusing on the right stuff! In a previous article on this topic, I commented that the message is simple, the wolf you feed is the one that grows. The good wolf attributes in a business are where we ideally should spend our time, that good old 80 – 20 rule focusing on our engaged employees, improving client experience and quality of product, to name a few. Creating a Good Wolf Environment While we have many different tools – appraisals, customer and employee surveys – to try and understand the temperature and levels of entropy in our businesses – the truth is that it is really difficult to explain to people that they are not seen as feeding the good wolf.Often the people who offer the most negative input s…