Poor time management wastes everybody’s time but most importantly it wastes the time of the leader. Which means the leader is not spending time on moving the organization forward to its desired future. Getting rid of what wastes your time as a leader is essential if you plan on spending your time on what you need to. But getting rid of what wastes your time should not simply be limited to your personal calendar as a leader but occasionally needs to be looked at through the lens of the organization as well. Here are four more great categories suggested by Peter Drucker to take a look at when evaluating your time and the time of the organization you’re leading.
#1 What reoccurring problems are there in the organization?
Reoccurring problems are a symptom of a system problem. If a problem happens more than once it should have been foreseen and prevented or at least reduced to an expected routine. Reoccurring problems are a waste of everyone’s time because they can be solved ahead of time. If you choose not to learn from reoccurring problems the entire organization will suffer time loss.
#2 Is the organization overstaffed?
Before you laugh and say the reason you’re not getting more accomplished is that you don’t have the horses to get it done consider this. If your workforce spends more time hanging out with one another than actually getting work done, you may be overstaffed (or on the edge of burnout, but that’s another conversation). Another indication of being overstaffed is that you are spending an inordinate amount of time on HR issues within the organization.
“People get into each other’s way. People have become an impediment to performance, rather than the means thereto. In a lean organization people have room to move without colliding with one another and can do their work without having to explain it all the time.” Peter Drucker, “The Effective Executive”
#3 Is the organization poorly structured?
Go ahead and ask your team if they want to have another meeting and see where that gets you. There is a reason that Patrick Lencioni found success in writing the book, “Death by Meeting.” Meetings are an essential part of preparing to get the work done. But one of the indicators that there is a problem with the structure of an organization is too many meetings. Structures should be designed to move the organization towards its objectives, structure is never the goal. An organization where everyone meets all of the time is an organization that is never moving forward because no one is ever getting anything done.
#4 How does the organization handle information management?
Many organizations handle information in a decentralized and inefficient manner causing all kinds of duplicate efforts and wastes hours and hours of people’s time within the organization. In “Church-World” this shows up in a number ways. Often times I’ve seen people make the rounds of our staff for counseling trying to find someone who will tell them what they want to hear. If the Staff knew about the previous counseling sessions how many hours and how much emotional energy could have been saved? I’ve seen databases get duplicated, attendance numbers get duplicated and the list goes on. Unnecessary redundancy in an organization is a waste of money, people, and worst of all time.
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