You already know if you’re time poor. On the hamster-wheel of life, you’re not sure if you’re running the wheel, or it’s running you. How do you escape time poverty and go to the next level?
One things for sure, working longer hours and cramming more in won’t work. If you add more resources to a team that’s already missing deadlines, it just makes things worse.
“What you need is way of preventing the fires spreading, and, in time, starting in the first place”
Your first action is to do the one thing you absolutely don’t want to do. STOP. That’s ridiculous, right? How is stopping going to help you get more done? What about all of those fires you need to put out? Here’s the news. If you don’t change what you’re doing, you’ll be consumed anyway. There will always be stuff to do, and there will always be fires. What you need is way of preventing the fires spreading, and, in time, starting in the first place.
“step off the wheel and review your priorities”
That means taking time to figure out one thing that will help. One thing that will win you a little bit more time in the future. An example might be a visual tool to help you plan. Like a wall chart or a kanban system. It will allow you to see beyond the immediate and urgent, and pick up on the important, more strategic things that drop by the wayside. Then schedule a small amount of time – say 20 minutes, every other day, to step off the wheel and review your priorities. Are you doing the right things, tasks that move you to your long-term goal? Are you doing the right things right, or could the way you execute do with an overhaul?
“step back and get some perspective“
When you’re stressed, you get tunnel vision. It’s an evolutionary adaptation to help us deal with the threat in front of us. That makes sense when it’s a sabre-tooth tiger filling your field of vision, but not when it’s a looming deadline. That’s when you need to step back and get some perspective, otherwise you’ll never escape the time poverty trap..