Whether you are a team leader, a business owner or operating at a high level within a corporate, you will always be struggling with how best to use your time in order to maximise your impact on the performance of your team or the business overall. It’s extremely easy to get caught up making yourself busy with tasks that need to get done, but don’t actually have any developmental impact. For some it is very difficult to accept that they are not being effective whilst carrying out these operational, often repetitive and below grade tasks. After all, someone has to do the cash flow forecasting, carry out the health and safety review (as opposed to reviewing it once someone else has done the leg work!) and go to the bank with the cheques. The challenge is however, should it be you?
It’s very difficult to avoid some tasks that do not take your business any closer to its vision, but for many of these tasks, when you really challenge the situation, you will find that there is no reason whatsoever for your valuable time to be spent doing these things. Especially when your role within the business and your experience would be far more gainfully employed pursuing new customers, developing new strategies, negotiating deals at a high level etc.
You only have so may hours in a day and it’s crucial that you use your time to best effect, because once a moment has passed by you don’t ever get it back. You can’t buy back time, you can only regret what you didn’t do with it once it’s evaporated. So your priorities should always be assessed and re-assessed, and every time you are about to do something ask yourself, “If I delegated that to someone else would the business benefit overall?” The chances are it will. It’s a classic win/win scenario. First of all for you – it frees up your time to be more effective in a more meaningful way. Secondly, the person you delegate the task to will probably be pleased that you are giving them the trust to do something above their level, will be happy to be given the extra responsibility and will also develop their skillset accordingly. It’s good for morale and it stengthens your team. So think about some of the repetitive tasks (or meetings) that constantly get in your way of being effective, and smother you into thinking, falsely, that you are an effective leader. If you find one thing (and you will probably find much more) that takes an hour a week and you delegated it elsewhere, that gains you 52 hours a year (more than a full working week!). What could you achieve, that would really make a difference, with all that time? Perhaps you can buy time after all! Choose well how you use it, because once it’s gone you ain’t getting it back!