I received a panicked phone call from a colleague one day who said she had taken on additional responsibilities and that she felt she was drowning, her nose barely above water. She was crumbling under the weight of her responsibilities. After she’d calmed down, she asked the simplest question of all: “Can you help me?” Whether she called me or someone else, she had become self-aware enough to know her work performance was suffering. Self-awareness is a powerful tool.
Too many people wait until it’s too late to ask for assistance. You don’t need to complain, you need to look for solutions. If you find that these solutions or other time management tools you’ve tried aren’t working for you—keep searching. Telling someone it will get done still doesn’t get it done, until you find the time to do it. If you’re falling behind, be strong enough to get assistance. You don’t want to wait for a time study to figure out what you do all day! If you don’t know, ask a peer, ask a boss, ask a mentor, even ask a stranger, but make sure that you ask. I realize we’re in a do-more-with-less business world. We
hesitate to talk with people about the time crunches we’re under. We don’t want to be considered weak, inefficient, unproductive, or other negative connotations that can hurt our professional growth. Work not getting done, however, will be a much bigger problem over time.
It’s time to do some soul searching. Is today the day to ask for help with your own organization and time management skills? Even if you want more time to implement these strategies, set an actual deadline to do another assessment. If you reach that date and are not at the level you expected, make that the day to ask for help. As stated in an earlier blogs, the concept of building a strong enough relationship with someone to have this type of conversation is critical. Invest the time now to build strong relationships with those people around you who can help. Discuss challenges with your manager and other co-workers, and even people you mentor with to get sound advice. Silence will only hurt you. Communicate with your manager and the appropriate
people within your organization relating to what’s on your plate. It may take time to reach a solution, but it always begins with self-awareness.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Down the Chute: A Toboggan Tale (children’s book)
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood