Managers: Stop being so busy

Expectations weigh on all of us. But there are expectations, and expectations.

Managers are busy people, but if you’re non-stop busying yourself with meetings, emails and day to day operations you aren’t really doing what you were hired to do.

You weren’t hired to make the inevitable happen.

You’re being paid to make something happen that wouldn’t have happened without you.

I see a lot of managers working with their heads down, running, responding, not watching and anticipating. It’s time to get your head up. It’s time to start coming up with something new.

You are working hard – no doubt – but you need to make time to think strategically, be creative, and come up with the next big idea. Nobody’s counting wing flaps.

And nobody’s going to walk into your office to hand you a whole lot of time either. You have to make it. You have to protect it. And you have to have the energy to make the most of it when you have it.

What do you need to do to push beyond call-and-response management and really take responsibility for making new and great things happen?

  • Mark strategy time in the calendar. Don’t hide it – it’s a big part of your job. Don’t take it home, or try to do it on your bathroom breaks. Seriously, mark it in the calendar.
  • Go somewhere special. Changing your environment is good for getting away from the busy-making stuff that can bog you down and new environments can spark new connections. (I often go to the library to think.)
  • Say no to doing things you can delegate. Say no to meetings you don’t critically need to attend. That’s the only way to get the time you need to do the hard, high energy thinking you are paid to do.

As a manager / leader you should be doing strategic work daily or weekly. Are you?

Be honest. What value were you expected to bring to the company? What level of contribution do you expect from yourself? Are you bringing it? Heads up.

Related articles on the blog:

Stop Multitasking

Category: All, Good Management Habits, Manage your People, Managing high performers, The Leader's Toolkit
Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.