Are you too busy for your team? Take a break

Are you too busy for your team? Take a break

The core team around you senses your frustrations, your anxiety - and stops asking you for your time.



By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)

Published: Mon 11 Mar 2019, 7:44 PM

We've all been there. We've seen particularly bad days, even weeks, when we've been unable to get anything done at all because we've been 'too busy'. The always-on lifestyle - complete with 24/7 news cycle, social media, work groups, family groups, meeting schedulers, digital reminders, and the likes - doesn't help at all, does it? That phase, when we feel overwhelmingly underperforming, is just that - a phase. It passes away, usually. And we eventually get back to the grind, doing what we have to do.
But what happens if/when these particularly bad days and weeks become months or quarters? When you seem to be inundated with work pressures so acute that you don't remember when was the last time you sat with your team - without there being an emergency - and had a nice heart-to-heart chat. The core team around you senses your frustrations, your anxiety - and stops asking you for your time. "I came by but saw you buried in work, and left," is what you often hear from those who should feel confident enough to walk up to you at any time of the day to discuss whatever it is that they must. If you have been 'using' your lunchtime to make phone calls or clear e-mails for as long as you'd care to remember, you're in trouble - and need to get things sorted out ASAP.
Start with the basics - if you have too much on your plate, delegate. Prioritise the tasks on hand by their importance - you can safely afford to give the bottom 10-15 per cent off to your core team (unless any of those tasks require your personal attention). Set reasonable expectations for yourself - and, therefore, for your team. Remember, a large part of your job as a manager is to mentor your team - a task you won't be able to do justice to if you remain 'too busy'. So, the next time you find your schedule so excruciatingly tight that it doesn't allow you to think freely, take a break.


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