Advice on building your team, navigating your career, and bringing the best version of yourself, your department, and your organization.

If You Can Potluck, You Can Plan!

Each and every day, you get up, go through the same morning routine and head to work. You spend countless hours doing tasks that others can and should be doing, scrambling to put out fires and run in circles. When it comes time for your quarterly coaching session with your supervisor (pretend these really happen) you're asked how far you've gotten and the reality is not very far.

If asked why you never get ahead on work and focus on the big picture items that move your credit union forward, you would probably have a million excuses and say you're "just too busy". The reality is that you busy yourself with potlucks and other items that are killing your motivation. Not only that, but when you put so much emphasis on items that don't return much value just because you've always done them, you're showing your staff how to waste time as well. I'm not even counting the hours spent wasted when a baby comes into the branch. Come on already!!! Let's get serious. I'm not saying ignore the babies and ban potlucks. I LOVE A GOOD POTLUCK. But the reality is you are part of the problem. 

Take some ownership. Your most valuable asset is your time and how you spend it can make all the difference in how productive your days are.

Here are ten steps to better time management:
10. Stop With the Weekly Potlucks and Ordering Out!
The time it takes to coordinate orders alone could be used to solve world peace. 
9. Delegate
Not the stuff you hate, but the stuff that helps others grow in their knowledge and role. When you focus on big picture items you can make a bigger impact. 
The reality is that if you are passionate about your job, it isn't an 8 hour day or a 40 hour work week. Get over it and get engaged. Leadership is exciting.
7. All Play and No Business Means You Suck
When you lead others and you spend hours with family members, friends or members that have single digit membership numbers, your employees know it. You aren't fooling anyone. Get serious about your leadership role so others can take you seriously.
6. Manage Your Time - Don't Let It Manage YOU
Keep track of how you spend your time and if that is the best use of your time. Empower your staff and help them to make decisions without you.
5. Make a Deadline and STICK TO IT
By setting a deadline and sticking to it, you're holding yourself accountable to getting ahead and in a timely fashion. 
4. Stop Making Excuses
If you truly are so busy on a daily basis that you have no one on your team that can pitch in and help, you have to reinvent the way you're doing it and assess who's on your team. If you surround yourself with others that waste time, you're the problem. Fill your team with amazing employees and imagine the possibilities. 
3. Email and Interruptions
The constant interruptions and side conversations can easily distract from getting your daily tasks accomplished. If you are constantly interrupted by an employee who has all the time in the world, give them projects to do and ask them to email you with their concerns or questions. 
2. Make a List
Project management is key to strong leadership skills. Time management and multitasking is an art form and the more you do it, the better you get at it. Start today and don't stop. 
1. Make It A Priority
Every day that is spent just managing day to day operations and not accomplishing strategic planning goals is a day that you broke even. You've not made a difference, you've just existed while your competition may be getting ahead.