Do you find yourself constantly trying to find more time in your day?
But have you ever stopped and looked at what you’re doing with your precious time? You might think there are always things that need to be done. But do they? What value do these tasks bring?
You might see your colleagues perform specific admin tasks. But this doesn’t mean that you have to. Take a look at these everyday chores that many team leaders and managers do, then ask yourself if you really need to do them. Spoiler alert. You don’t.
Unless you’re part of a small business or startup, there shouldn’t be a reason that you should have to gather results from the previous day, month, or year. There should be a team or individual whose responsibility is to provide this to you.
What might take you an hour to compile takes these specialists minutes. They may not even have to do any manual work. There’s a chance it’s automated. You may not get the information as frequently as you like. However, it’s up to you to adapt your strategy, which doesn’t include collecting the information yourself. It could mean a discussion with them to see if you can receive results in a more timely fashion.
For some reason, many people still love to use PowerPoint or another slideshow program to present their ideas. However, it’s become outdated. Like you, your audience is short on time and doesn’t want to sit through a 50-page pack full of numbers and graphics.
Stick to a one-page format, or better yet talk through your idea. Slideshows and presentations can become a distraction. Have an open discussion about what you want to achieve, then mould it together as a group. It’s a better way of collaborating and saves you plenty of hours choosing your colour scheme.
Not every team leader is a numbers person, and that’s ok. You’re in your role for a reason, and it might not be because you can look at a spreadsheet and draw insights or conclusions.
This is where you need to speak to analysts or other experts who can look for trends and make recommendations. Your role as a leader is to execute or create a strategy around these suggestions. They may not all work. But at least you have data to back up your thinking.
You might think this is an essential part of your role, and it might be if you don’t have other teams who can provide this service. Alternatively, you could utilise your 2IC to help with the operations while you focus on coaching, development, and strategic direction.
This task should not take place throughout the day either. There should be a meeting in the morning with the priorities and contingencies if something unforeseen happens. It will take time to get to this place where everything runs smoothly, but you’ll gain more time back in the day once you do.
What You Should Be Focusing On
Take a look at the ratio of your admin tasks versus coaching, development, and strategic direction. The administration should be no more than 20% of your time. If it’s more, then you need to start asking yourself if the items on your to-do list really need to be there.
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