Leaders are special employees in that their success lies in helping other employees do their jobs well. Accordingly, leaders should always have an open ear for the concerns of their team.
Every now and then, however, this takes over, causing the leader to feel like they are losing control of their schedule. They are bombarded with appointment requests and can barely keep up with accepting them. In the end, the appointment calendar is full from early in the morning until the evening, they have too little time and overtime is on the line. Then, when an employee is standing in front of you with a question, the system breaks down altogether.
Sound familiar? Do you want to take back control of your schedule?
The above description is unfair, of course, because it puts the ‚blame‘ for the overflowing calendar on your team. As is so often the case in life, „it takes two to dance“. Simply turning a deaf ear to your employees would be the easy answer, but not the one that leads to the goal. Rather, the key is to establish a system that puts you back in control and puts every appointment request through a filter. Instead of simply accepting every outlook appointment, you then check to see if it meets your criteria.
You arrive at your criteria by asking yourself three questions:
- Is this appointment about my role as a leader? These appointments are especially important to you if you are the only person leading on the team – if you don’t, no one else does and your team is without leadership (prioritize).
- Is this appointment about the part of my subject matter expertise that I enjoy? After all, if you do something well and enjoy doing it, you will be especially successful (focus).
- Is there someone else who has the same expertise and who can attend this appointment in my place? Often this is the case and especially as a manager you can motivate your team if you hand over tasks (delegate).