If you came to my time management workshop the first thing I would do is acknowledge you for showing up. Why? Because many people want to change their relationship to time, but even if they convince themselves to sign up for a time management training, they sometimes don’t actually attend because they think, (whether consciously or not) “I can get a lot of work done in the three hours it would take me to go to this training.”
So I acknowledge them for stepping outside the mindset that says “you must work harder and more in order to get ahead” and for looking for another way. And I tell them this two hours is an investment. Just like investing money for the future, you are investing two hours of time now in order to gain you time in the long run. You are leveraging your time.
In this vein, whether or not we delegate is often answered in the same way that we decide whether or not to attend a time management training. We often fail to delegate for the same reasons – I could just put in the time now to do it, rather then expending time to train someone else to do it. Why do we not delegate? Most common reasons I hear are these:
• I could do it quicker myself
• I could do it better myself
• No one here knows how to do this job other than me
There is a theme among all these reasons – I should spend my time NOW getting as much done as possible. However, investing time in delegation is also a way of leveraging your time. You need a different mindset in order to do it. Yes, you will have to take time now to show someone else how to do it. Yes, that person may make a mistake and require further training by you. But the investment in finding things you can teach others to do and in training them in that will save you time in the long run.
Thinking about the long run requires a different mindset. Most people manage what is in front of them and do not manage time for the future. But if you do not start planning for the long run, you will continue getting what you have always got – doing what is right in front of you as fast as you possibly can.
My next two blogs will be excerpts from my time management chapter in Coaching for Attorneys: Improving Productivity and Achieving Balance, on how to delegate well.
If you are an attorney in Sacramento, come hear me speak on time management to the Women Lawyers of Sacramento on Thursday, September 18, 2014, 12 – 1:15 pm: http://womenlawyers-sacramento.org/events/september-luncheon-cami-mclaren/