The advantage of writing the first Blog of the year is that I can still wish all readers a very happy, healthy and successful 2016 before it becomes fashionably too late to do so.
I was amazed over the festive period how anyone who’s anyone, and a good number of people who aren’t, published Christmas or new year messages, and indeed some of them even did both! So I thought I’d get in on the act and give you my simple new year’s message which is “let’s get on with it”.
I know that’s a sentiment that few would disagree with, so I got to thinking, what’s the reason we don’t do it as often as we should. And my totally unscientific conclusion is that we all hide behind the “I haven’t had time” excuse. But when you think about it, that’s not true. All of us, no matter who we are and what position we hold, have exactly the same amount of time available to us: 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, etc. Of course we all have different commitments, but often when we say “I haven’t had time”, we actually mean that we have had time, but have prioritised other things above it.
So, from a work perspective, what can we do about this and how can we create more time? Here are just 2 personal thoughts about changes to our working practices to show how this can be done. I’d like to give you more, but our Blog master, he who must be obeyed, has set a 450 word limit on our submissions!!
- Meetings. It amazes me that, with the variety of modern technology available, we still hold far too many face-to-face meetings and that these are often too long and not overly effective. I once worked with someone, admittedly he was in a senior position, who would leave a meeting if it hadn’t started within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. His argument was that it was disrespectful of people’s time to allow this. It’s a stance I admire, but have never quite had the nerve to copy!
- Communication. How often to we send stuff to others that don’t really need it or receive information that is irrelevant to us (yet still read it, operating with the view that we must know everything, rather than on a need to know basis? Also, how often do we postpone responding to a communication, meaning that the sender has to chase it up and unnecessarily waste more of their time?
So, in 2016, let’s commit to managing meetings and communications more effectively, stop saying: “I haven’t had time” and let’s get on with it!:)