Distracted Too Often By Other People's Problems?

3 Tips for more effective use of your time

Coaching team members

Have you ever been busy working on a task, but been constantly interrupted by team members coming to you with questions, problems or other things they want to run by you?  Would you like team members to be less reliant on you, working more independently and taking more ownership of their tasks?  If so, it’s time to make 3 simple changes.

Tip 1:  Limit Your Availability

Being available 24/7 for your team members is a recipe for constant interruptions which in turn will reduce your overall productivity.  A balance needs to be achieved between being available to support team members and having quality productive time for yourself.  Remember, a 2 minute interruption during a quality task can set you back 15 minutes!  Identify your most productive hours and ring fence them for your own work.  Then identify time slots remaining where you can be available for team members such as 11:00-12:00 and 3:00-5:00.  Schedule low grade tasks in these times so that interruptions are no problem.  Make sure that you communicate your availability to your team to make it easy for them to connect with you. 

Tip 2:  Don’t fix team members’ problems

Once you fix one problem you set yourself up as the ‘fixer‘ and guarantee yourself a lot of work.  Instead coach team members to fix their own problems.  Guide team members towards solutions and empower them to take action and solve similar problems themselves in the future.  This increases their competency and ability to work independently, and reduces their dependency on you in the future. Examples of great questions include:   “What are the critical factors?” and “What ways can you see to resolve this issue?”

Tip 3:  Have an action and results biasEffective People Management

Having given your time, be sure to get a return on investment.  Ensure that the team member will take the necessary action.  Ask them to clarify the actions they are committed to taking, by when and the result expected.  The team member needs to take full ownership of the situation.

If you’d like to know more about effective use of your time, contact Mike today.

Author: Mike Catton.  Follow Mike on Facebook and Linked In, or check out his profile on Google+.


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