It’s a very busy time of year for us all. I’d been feeling pretty overwhelmed recently when it suddenly hit me that it was only 6 weeks until the schools broke up for Christmas. This gave me a pretty definitive deadline for finishing all my work projects, and having Christmas organised. I also wanted the hall, stairs and landing (that we’d started decorating 6 months ago) finished in time for the festive period.
I know it’s not the end of the world if the paint still looks tatty, and the carpet has seen better days, but I was annoyed at myself for letting it drag on this long. We had intended to do it over the summer! My hubby and I have both been very busy at work, and when we’re not working, most of time is taken up with our 2 young children.
But I was doing some work for one of my clients recently, when I felt it appropriate to include the Eisenhower Grid (Urgency/Importance Matrix). It was like a light went on in my head! Decorating the hall, stairs and landing was important to us, but not urgent. Hence it kept getting postponed for other more demanding (or sometimes, fun) things. Tasks that fall into this quadrant are ideal things to delegate. Why? Because you can still retain control of them, without having to do it all yourself.
So, I called a decorator that we have used in the past, and what do you know, 3 weeks later, everything is done. Phew! I KNOW that we could have done it ourselves (we have enough experience to paint a few walls and skirting boards), but to do so would have been more stressful, at the expense of something else, taken longer, we may not have achieved the same standard and (when you work it out), it would have cost us more as we would have had to lose paid work to find the time.
I’m annoyed that I didn’t see this solution earlier, because this is essentially what I encourage my clients to do. Yes, they can probably do what I do, but internal training managers and officers have so many other pulls on their time. Designing new or updating existing programmes is an important but non-urgent job. Therefore it gets put off, or rushed. Why try to do it all? Bringing in someone like me takes the pressure off, and allows them to focus their time and energy on those areas where they can add most value. It can also save time, reduce stress, improve quality and may even work out more cost effective.
So with this in mind, I’m not going to try and be superwoman this Christmas. I’m going to mentally use the Eisenhower Grid every day, and make sure that I focus my time on those things that are important and urgent. I hope that you are able to do the same to achieve the best outcome for you, your business and your family this Christmas. If you find you need to delegate some of those important but not urgent training projects, then please contact us…but not until next year!