Time to Think by Rob Sheehan

“Slow down, you move too fast.  You got to make the morning last.”
-Simon & Garfunkel, The 59th Street Bridge Song

How many times has it happened to you?  You glance at your Smart Phone during a meeting and notice it is 2:30 p.m. “What!?!  Where has this day gone already?”

Today’s workplace is characterized by endless meetings and tons of email.  We seem to be busy, busy, busy from the time we wake up and glance at that Smart Phone to check emails that have come in overnight.  And recent research from the University of Maryland shows that American workers are spending even more time on the job than they did ten years ago.  But, what about the “quality” of all that busyness? Consider this quote from Wendy Clark, CEO of DDB North America:

“We are infinitely more productive when we have time to think.” (Fast Company, July/August 2016)

Time to Think. What a concept!

Consider this quote from a recent article in The Wall Street Journal*:

“Managers and knowledge workers, such as consultants, now spend 90% to 95% of their working hours in meetings, on the phone and responding to email”

Sound like your life?  And there’s more:

“Research and advisory firm CEB Inc. has found that 35% to 40% of managers ‘are so overloaded that it’s actually impossible for them to get work done effectively,’ said Brian Kropp, a CEB leader who works with chief HR officers.”

If you can give yourself time to think, I suggest it will improve the quality of your work in two ways: the quality of your decisions and the quality of your creativity.  It will probably also improve the quality of your relationships.

How to do it?  Two suggestions to begin:

*Renegotiate expectations about your availability with everyone

*Begin blocking time exclusively for you to think and get your own work done.  No meetings! You deserve it.  Give yourself Time to Think.
*The Wall Street Journal, “So Busy at Work, No Time to Do the Job,” June 28, 2016.

Rob Sheehan

With more than 30 years of executive management experience, including 18 years as the CEO of two different national nonprofits, Rob uniquely blends in-the-trenches experience with extensive academic research. As Principal of Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting, Rob provides consulting services in strategy development and implementation, leadership and teamwork development, board development, and succession planning for nonprofits and government entities. For more information on Rob, go to www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com

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