Feeling quite despondent about it all, I tried to analyse where I went wrong. I remembered a mentor advising a younger version of myself that "if you plan your daily 'to do list' to take more than 10% of your available working day, you will fail every time!". Hmmm, wise words I think.
"His logic is that a director is there to deal with the business exceptions only!"
The normal daily tasks (the working 'in the business') should be delegated to others. Any exceptions that come up will require a quick resolution to minimise disruption, but they would still interrupt my planned activity for that day.
My conclusion was that I had planned to use more than 10% of my time today on 'in the business' tasks, and therefore failed miserably at all of it. Oh, and I had a lot of exceptions to deal with!
Here are my thoughts on how to prevent this happening again in the future:
- I'm going to stick to the 10% rule for a realistic 'to do' list.
- I shall delegate a lot more to others, and if I can't delegate something, I need to check if my staffing structure is wrong!
- I will minimise the interrupting effect of the exceptions. For example, I'll try looking at emails just three times a day rather than every time one arrives. I'm going to switch off the email arrival pop up!
- From now on I'll divert my desk phone and switch off my mobile and record a good greeting to persuade people to leave a message. If they can't get hold of me then they may ask someone else and leave me alone!
- If I can't divert my desk phone (or switch off my mobile), I'm going to let it ring a few extra times to see if the caller answers their own question and rings off!
- And I'm going to take more regular breaks. Today I got my lunch break at 3.30pm! Where did the time go? A break is always good 'thinking' time for me, so I need more of them!
Did I miss anything off the list you think may help me?
So, are there any exceptions in your working day you could delegate? Not just downwards to your own team, but how about outsourcing to Picaw? Your building security, your fire safety, even your equipment maintenance and network support? We cover it all.
"Each is part of our core business and my teams are structured to do them quickly and efficiently for you!"
Maybe that'll mean you won't need to be working 'in your business' so much? Call us on 0845 287 3622 or click here to send me an email enquiry and let's see how Picaw can help you manage those exceptions!