Not a Time Management Issue

“Yes, you could call it stress,” Daniele replied. “And it’s building. I seem to get farther behind and I can see there are things that need to be done, there is no way I will get to them.”

“What do you think is happening?” I asked.

“I get to work early to get a few minutes of peace and quiet. It’s usually my most productive hour of the day. But then, there is an email, or a note on my desk about a struggling project and boom, I am in the weeds again. I am not complaining about the work, but I feel the stress. I am torn between these urgent projects and the work I know I really need to be doing. It even affects my work-life balance. I feel like I need to come in to work two hours early.”

“Do you think you have a work-life balance problem?”

“Yes. My husband thinks so,” Daniele nodded.

“You know I am a structure guy. I don’t think you have a work-life balance problem, I think you have a structure issue. Why do you think you get pulled into the weeds and cannot get to the work you need to be doing as a manager?”

“My team has questions that have to be answered, problems that have to be solved and decisions that have to be made,” she described. “If I don’t spend that time, they just get stuck and don’t know what to do.”

“Your stress is only the symptom. It looks like a time management issue, but it’s not. It’s a structure issue.”

2 thoughts on “Not a Time Management Issue

  1. Linda Murphy

    THis is the most common problem we see with small business owners. They get trapped in the weeds and think that it’s just the demand of their job. The reality is, if they learn to delegate and put the right people in the right places, only then will they have time to get things accomplished and have a balanced life!

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  2. Mitch Mitchell

    I always hated having to put out fires on a constant basis. I found my way around that by training other people to be leaders and by helping to train employees to be more self sufficient and decision makers. If leaders make sure staff is properly trained and always informed of any changes things to smoother and it eliminates the biggest time suck of every day.

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