An over-emphasis on efficiency, often characterized by attempting to handle too much at once, can lead to burnout.
Some professionals proceed as if they can handle everything as long as they stay focused. This is seen in the manager who wants to increase his department’s quarterly output by 12%, inspire his staff each day, enroll in an evening course at a local university, spend more time with the family, rise to a position of leadership in his HR professional society, and maintain peak fitness.
Such professionals harbor the notion that if they can find a way to work more efficiently, they’ll be able to “get it all done.” So, they race through some tasks as fast as possible, slow down a bit for others, rarely pause and reflect, and remain in that mode for hours or days or weeks on end. When doing things rapidly doesn’t seem to be enough, this manager stays on the job longer each day.
To be sure, there are times when it makes sense to put in a long day. When weekly work hours start to stack up and cut into one’s personal time, stress, anxiety, and exhaustion are all too predictable. The stakes seemingly increase, as one’s perspective decreases.
Some managers fall into the “I must do it all” trap because they don’t trust others. Some fall because they have no inkling of how to delegate effectively. Others succumb because they see coworkers all around them putting in exorbitantly long hours. Hence, they believe that this is the only way to approach one’s work and get things done. The key is to create and maintain a sense of balance between the two.
Don’t Equate Organizing Time with Wasted Time
Sometimes it seems as if the energy and effort you expend at getting organized will be a waste. After all, if you're already feeling behind and have much to accomplish, wouldn't good time management necessitate simply jumping in and handling those things that beg for your attention? Not exactly.... Often, you have to slow down in order to speed up.
In general, being organized greatly enhances your ability to manage your time thereafter. Knowing where items are located and filed puts you in charge, and provides freedom to concentrate on creative, fulfilling, or necessary tasks and not the clutter that surrounds you. Success ultimately comes when both effectiveness and efficiency meet, when you say yes to key responsibilities and tasks and no to trivial items, and let yourself have a life after work hours.
About The Author:
Jeff Davidson is “The Work-Life Balance Expert®” as designated by the USPTO and a premier thought leader on work-life balance, harmony, and integration issues. Jeff speaks to organizations worldwide that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the work-life balance of their people. He wrote Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Perfect Timing, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com or call 919-932-1996 for more information