Balancing all the demands on your time is not easy.
We all know that to run a successful business, department or team requires consistent achievement across several disciplines.
Typically we need to perform well across finance, marketing, sales, service delivery, planning, technology and people. And it’s quite common to see one or more areas get more attention, while others are neglected.
Most of us ‘play favourites’ in this way, usually without noticing that’s what we do.
To find out if you play favourites, make a list of the outstanding issues in each aspect of your work. If you have a good balance across all your responsibilities, you will have roughly the same number of outstanding issues under each heading.
My prediction is that those are the areas of management you feel least comfortable handling.
It’s only natural to tackle the easy stuff first. What falls within our comfort zone will naturally be attended to first.
Unfortunately, that often means a log jam of other issues that build up and stop us from moving forward.
‘John’ is just great at finding new prospects, converting them to clients and providing them with more than they expect in terms of customer service. You could say these activities are his favourites.
What John enjoys less is budgeting, dealing with technology and involving his staff in the business or managing their performance. John knows these things are all important, but for him, it’s more fun to be out there talking with clients.
Have I just described someone you know?
Or you might know ‘Jenny’. Jenny has elegant systems in place to keep track of every action and every dollar. What she doesn’t like to do is tell the world about the amazing services she can offer. Engaging employees so that they are running the systems to their full capacity also sits outside her comfort zone.
Both John and Jenny are not realising their full potential because the unaddressed issues are holding them back.
1. Identify your ‘favourites’ – the tasks that you find easier than other activities.
2. Decide whether you are prepared to spend less time on your favourites so you can spend more time getting on top of issues in other areas.
3. If yes, identify your priorities, allocate the time and start taking some action now.
4. If you want to continue working on your favourite activities – which is where you will be happiest and most productive, take the time to identify what you should get someone else to do for you and how.
Once you’ve been through the exercise above, change will only happen if you make it happen. Finding a coach or mentor to guide, support and keep you accountable will help you to reach a better balance – sooner.
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