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  • Writer's pictureGlenn Sharp

What's the core issue behind time management challenges?

One of the toughest workshops I facilitate is on time management. Why?

Because its personal.

I have asked thousands of workshop participants the following question: What if I told you that 90% of overall time management issues are self-inflicted? Agree or disagree? I have never had a single participant, NOT ONE, really disagree. They may debate me over the exact percentage being 90%, 80% or even 75%. However, the basic premise that the vast majority of time management issues stem from our own personal behaviors and choices is agreed upon universally.

I have had countless conversations with executives over the issue of time management. So many of them struggle to understand why employees are missing deadlines, why they seem standoffish, or even why moral has dipped. I ask them to consider looking at the problem from the employee’s perspective. What’s the core issue? What’s the why behind the issue.

Many of the conversations lead to the behaviors they see every single day. Deadlines are missed, sloppy work, stress behavior, moral issues, and even turnover. All these things are certainly issues, but they don’t speak to the root cause.

For many employees, the corporate culture of “do more with less” has caught up to them. When they were first asked to increase their workload, they just worked harder. When they were asked to do even more, they worked longer. But every employee has their “tipping point.” The point where their workload is just overwhelming and they just don’t know how to operate effectively at that level. Of course, most employees will not admit they have reached that level. What seems like time management issues is really the lack of skill necessary to perform well at that level. Instead of admitting fault, many employees will make excuses, blame others, lash out at the corporation, even begin looking for another job.

There are many skills managers need to operate effectively and efficiently at these new mandated performance levels. Planning, Delegation, prioritization, follow-up, and communication are just a few to consider.

At Sharp Leadership Development, developing the skills necessary to manage time effectively is just one of the many concepts taught as part of our week-long Leadership Boot Camp. To see our upcoming schedule, click here.

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