Wasting time and energy may be one of my biggest pet peeves as a leader. Some days I leave work and feel I never got off the treadmill. It’s physically and mentally draining.
Does that ever happen to you?
I firmly believe if we get rid of common energy wasters we can dramatically improve our performance as leaders. With that in mind, I’ve spent time in my personal development finding ways to eliminate time and energy wasters.
Here are 7 common wastes of energy in leadership:
Focussing attention on the naysayers – I have found that worrying over what the critics are saying, especially the ones I will never make happy, delays progress and takes time from and frustrates the positive people who believe in the vision and are ready to move forward.
Refusing to delegate – When I make every decision, or become too controlling as a leader, I rob myself and the team of valuable energy and talent and I feel overwhelmed more quickly.
Second guessing decisions – I find it is better to work to make better decisions moving forward rather than live in a pity party of bad ones already made.
Trying to have all the ideas – Many leaders feel they have to be the originator of all the creative energy of a team. They waste time brainstorming alone rather than expanding the creative process. Consequently, the best ideas often never surface. Original thoughts, better than ours, are usually in the room or the organization if we will welcome them to the table and it preserves my time for more efficient use.
Living with broken structure – Let’s face reality. Over time, rules take on a life of their own. What was once created to improve structure actually begins to slow progress and waste valuable time. Change the rules…or even drop them… and you often free up valuable space for people to breathe and enjoy their work.
Disorganization – Need I expand? Many leaders feel overwhelmed because they don’t have good organizational skills. Learning how to better handle routine tasks such as processing emails, calendaring, and scheduling work flow each week will drastically improve time efficiency.
Completing tasks not designed for me – This could be any number of things. Even reading a book. For example, perhaps a silly example, but I have discovered that sometimes I read too much. That sounds strange…I know…but really it’s because I read things I didn’t need to read. I start a book and within the first chapter I know it’s not helpful or even enjoyable…my sense of completion wants to finish. but, better is to put it aside and pick up another book. The novel length email…I try to determine first if I’m the one who should respond. Many times I’m not. It could be attending a meeting…or supervising a project. Whatever it is that I am not the best person for the job or it is just a time waster, the sooner I stop it or hand off the task, the more energy I preserve.
What energy wasters have you seen in leadership?