Drink out of a fire hose

We’ve all heard the saying, “drinking out of a fire hose.” Some days and weeks are worse than others when there just isn’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. No matter how early I start my day or how late I continue in the evening, there will only be 24 hours in the day.

Not long ago my team completed a time analysis and listed specific tasks and the hours spent daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly on each task. We were not surprised that our 40 hour week actually consisted of 50 – 60 hours. Our work day is technically 8-5 but so often we are working evenings and weekends.  With the emergence of social technology and the ability to check email, text messages and social networks 24/7 via our Blackberry and Droids it’s a wonder we get any sleep at all. There is also the issue that everyone on my team is a dedicated control freak!

Every once in a while we stop and evaluate our time management efforts. Kathy Muller, Director Sales Training and Development spends time with all new owners conducting a time management session and it is not unusual for someone on the team to sit through the session. Kathy reviews  a chart of Important vs Urgent  with four quadrants:

  1. Do Now: Subject to confirming the importance and the urgency of these task, do these now!
  2. Plan To Do: Critical to Success – planning, strategic thinking, deciding direction and aims. Plan to do these.
  3. Reject and Explain: Scrutinize and probe demands. Help originators to re-assess. Wherever possible reject and avoid these tasks sensitively and immediately.
  4. Resist and Cease: Habitual “comforters” not true tasks. Non-productive, de-motivational. Minimise or cease altogether. Plan to avoid these.

All of the above helps us to regroup. It never hurts to close our door and post one of my favorite door hangers either. If you need one, let me know and I will be most happy to mail one to you!