I once heard the saying “take the busy out of business” and loved it. It had never occurred to me just how obsessed everyone is with being busy. “I’m up to my neck in work!” “I’m trying to keep my head above water!” “I haven’t slept in days!” are a few common phrases that I hear ALL THE TIME.
Actually, it’s crazy how PROUD everyone is of being so busy all the time. It’s like some wacky contest, where everyone tries to one-up each other until there’s a WINNER of stress and workload. But what the heck is the prize for that?!
Listen… EVERYONE is busy. I am tired of constantly overhearing these exchanges… I own an organization that’s chock FULL of people that are working incredibly hard every day, so let’s just assume everyone is “slammed” most of the time, and get over it.
We need to stop considering “busy” a virtue. Just because you work around the clock, DOESN’T MEAN you are the most successful, most important, or most sought after. In fact, it might mean that you are just much less efficient with your time than others who work less than you.
If you work for twelve hours straight with no breaks, what do you think your productivity level looks like? If you chart exactly how much you get done VERSUS the number of hours spent distracted and half-assing, how do you think it’d weigh out?
The truth is, we’ve become a busy culture. We think that to be considered the best of the best, we have to slave our lives away at the office, but that’s the opposite of the truth. That ACTUALLY means that we aren’t getting to spend as much time with our friends or family, or bettering ourselves personally.
I bet if you made a conscious effort, you could accomplish the same amount in HALF the time. (This isn’t true when it comes to treating patients, of course, but office work… meetings… etc.) And then instead of bragging about how much you have to DO you could brag about how much you’d already gotten DONE. Let’s make that the new trend!
For now, here is my advice on how to manage your time more efficiently:
1. Create your own STRICT deadlines. We all work better around deadlines… so make some for yourself. Give yourself two hours to complete a project instead of “whenever you can get it done.” If possible, arrange a system of accountability to make SURE you get it done on time.
2. Create a schedule, and stick to it. Calendar blocking is my personal favorite, and there are a lot of computer programs that make it easy these days… So just pick one! If you’re a bit on the old fashioned side, you could organize your time in a notebook or on a white board. Just assign yourself an allotted amount of time for different action items each day, so you can track your productivity.
3. Learn to cut some things OUT. Long morning huddles on days when you need to be hyper-productive? Cut them out. Drawn out conversations with team members in the hallway? Cut them out. Replying to EVERY SINGLE EMAIL you receive? Please… Cut it out. You get the picture.
I challenge you to follow these strategies and see HOW MUCH you can accomplish this month WITHOUT always staying late and working extra days. I challenge you to make every hour at work worthwhile, so you can spend more time at home, focusing on your family.
As always– if you’d like to discuss, call 866-917-2808.
Until next time,