Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Most of the time we feel there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done. Working from home has its ups and downs for sure. It's like you're with your family yet you're not. You want to take a break from your computer, but you have back to back zoom/virtual meetings and conferences. It's a never ending cycle, and by the end of the day the famous phrase that most of us say, "oh s&*t, I got nothing done today cause I was in meetings ALL DAY, AGAIN, and I'm mentally spent!!!"
Can this cycle be broken or at least cracked just a bit? Do you have a team of competent individuals? Are you well staffed are you? Would you be less inundated and a little more productive if you didn't attend every single meeting? Ask yourself whether or not these meetings are helpful/insightful to you. Do they enhance your knowledge or just take up a lot of your time? What if you leaned on your team just a tad more? Before responding to this barrage of mental floss, just step away and take a moment.
Now, what if you allow one trusted team member to attend a conference and take "copious" notes? What if another team member attended another meeting and represented the interests of your department in spades? What if your team participated in these meetings and conferences 30% of the time, and each time got better and more knowledgeable having done it. What if they built up a sense of accountability and altruism because they were encouraged, and more so trusted to really show up for the team? Would that alleviate some of your burdens and give you time back?
Why is time and trust so valuable?
Having more time actually allows you to FOCUS on the work that needs to get done.
It allows you be an INCLUSIVE manager, and at the same time to acknowledge your team lieutenants.
Even when understaffed a manager should DELEGATE, which may result in working fewer late hours. Several heads is always better than one.
Build TRUST & AUTONOMY. Everyone wants to feel valued and worthy, and by assigning greater responsibility you are building a team of leaders that you KNOW you can rely on.
LEARN through observation. Figure out who needs more training, learning and help. Not everyone is a superstar at everything, but that doesn't mean they can't be at some things. As a manager it is your responsibility to see who is struggling and needs guidance. Many will succeed and flourish, while some may not. It will be up to you to decide how to guide their career or even recommend a better fit for them.
This is not something that's easy or done overnight. Trust is earned through time, and giving your team members more responsibility means YOU as a manager need to be able to let go and trust; the result is strength, respect and growth.
Getting a few hours back of your workday means fewer longer nights, more time for a social life (yes, even now), and even less stress. Time is a valuable commodity that we all need to manage for a healthier and happier life.