“My box is full! My team members’ boxes are full. We’ve been stretched to the limit. We can’t do anymore. Where are you from anyway—you just don’t understand!” Those were some of the comments from a recent training trip that I made. The tensions and emotions within the organization were extremely high…almost waiting to explode. All I had said was, “if there is one person in the workplace that should be happy—and you are a manager or supervisor—that person should be you.” It made matters even worse when I said, “you must compensate for your bosses weaknesses.”
What did I mean? Managers and supervisors manage people. Things get done with and through the managerial skills demonstrated by those people. If the manager or supervisor is so busy doing his and others jobs, he/she can’t possibly accomplish the tasks for which they were hired. If I work for you and I have a serious problem, but I’m uncomfortable discussing it with anyone. Who sees that? My work performance begins to decline and I give you the excuse that “we’re all overworked and under paid.” You understand and take no action, because you feel the same way. This attitude becomes contagious because everyone is overworked and underpaid. Productivity and morale continues to decrease because everyone is overworked and underpaid. You don’t see or appreciate the problem, because you also feel overworked and underpaid. You’re known for taking care of your employees and you have their backs. Everyone knows what a great person you are and that management is the reason morale is low and productivity continues to decrease. It’s management’s fault! But who is management? You are! If you’re so busy taking care of your employees by doing their jobs and your job part-time, it definitely is management’s fault—and you are now management.
Speaking of management, how many of you are smarter than your boss? You don’t have to answer that question, but in your area of expertise, you “should be” smarter than your boss. The boss does not have to have or no longer has your level of expertise. He/she is no longer expected to maintain this level of expertise, because he/she has you to look out for them. You give them that extra insight and extra knowledge set that they would not have without you. Don’t jump on the bandwagon when everyone starts belittling a comment or decision made by the boss. There is a quote from Emerson that says, “Who you are speaks so loudly that people can’t hear what you say.” When you have “walked in your bosses shoes,” then you can comment about your boss. This is what I mean when I say, compensate for your bosses weaknesses.
Here are a couple of time-management tips that may help you and your employees overcome that “my box is full” attitude and possibly become more efficient and productive:
- Develop a daily To-Do List and put it in writing.
- Prioritize your To-Do List based upon which will give you the highest return.
- Complete all items on your To-Do List
- Decide on a time to make your telephone calls and answer/send your emails.
- Schedule quiet time daily for yourself and where you can work undisturbed.
- Allow sufficient time for scheduled meetings, deadlines, and events.
- Hold others accountable for assigned projects, do not personally redo them.
- Ensure all of your meetings have clear agendas and do not run overtime.
- Schedule realistically--build more time in your schedule to accomplish the task than required.
- Use only one calendar. Select calendar with style and adequate size for workload.