Are you busy? Trying to juggle too many different things and in danger of dropping them?
The only way to move forward and to restore some balance into your life is to create space.
You need to create it because it will never happen on its own. In our busy diaries, we all need to take some time out to think, plan, improve. Even if it is just 15 minutes a day – it can result in significant benefits.
And once you’ve created that space, you need to use it to think, to problem solve to come up with smarter and better ways of doing things that will save more time going forward. In other words to plan.
People are often so task focussed that they forget the importance of planning time.
In Fifth Dimension, we deliver team development workshops to clients and one of our favourite segments is an activity that involves delegates undertaking an activity that involves them having to complete a number of tasks within a set timescale. However they are not given all the resources required to complete the tasks.
In 99% of the times we’ve done this, the entire group en masse start working on the tasks and don’t take any planning time. We give reminders of the ultimate goal throughout the exercise but still most teams ignore this and work on, heads down, oblivious to anything outwith their drive to try and finish the tasks.
we all need to take some time out to think, plan, improve
In the debrief afterwards as teams are reflecting on their approach, they realise the importance of planning; the importance of not making assumptions and of asking questions rather than just getting on with the task. This also leads them to come up with a number of much more effective ways of completing the challenge that in turn would save them time.
Know your team
And creating space, or time, can also be achieved simply by team members understanding more fully their colleague’s roles and how they impact on each other. As an example we were working with a company where a person within the team said that it took them 2 days to prepare a certain report. Another person in the same team but from the finance department advised them that they could give them the same report in 30 minutes! Neither realised that the other was working on pulling together the same output.
Here are some helpful questions to consider:
• Is there anything I am doing that doesn’t need to be done?
• Is there anything that could be delegated to someone else?
• Is there an easier way to prepare/present the information that would make it more helpful to me and others?
• How could we do this better/quicker/easier?
• How can we let others know about what we do to see if they can suggest ideas of improvement?
It’s not difficult
However, in order to consider these questions you need to create the time to do it.
And guess what – it’s not rocket science – how about starting by blocking out 15 minutes a day on your schedule. Or even taking an hour a week last thing on Friday to plan for the upcoming week. There are many different ways you could start, and the temptation will be there to revert back to your usual approach but stick with it and you will see the benefits.
Contact us to find out how we can help your team consider these questions.