“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”

If I had a dollar for how many times I hear this – especially at work.

Many of us stress out about completing every last item on our to-do this, as if the world will implode if we do not. We skip lunch. We work late. Sometimes, we even get grumpy about it and lash out at others (gasp).

I think about how to balance my day quite often. It’s something I am always conscious of and sometimes I nail it. But sometimes I don’t. And I was reflecting back on a previous Root blog post when I remembered something from it that has always stuck with me regarding this delicate dance we do with time management.

In “A Manager’s Greatest Plight – The Relentless Pursuit of More Time,” there’s a part where a manager slips an employee a note that reads, “I will get everything done that needs to get done and it will be good enough.” 

Such a simple, yet powerful statement. One that has the ability to engage employees on a deeper level knowing that you just get it. The engagement spreads because it’s a phrase that transcends titles. It’s relatable to everyone regardless of where you sit in the corporate hierarchy. The reality is, that you can’t get “more time”. We all know that and can find common ground around it. Time is definitive and we have the same amount all day, everyday. That will never change. But, what we do have control over is how we choose to spend that time.

The post also pointed to three things you can do to help with the inherent time crunch that plagues most of us. We always talk about strategic engagement of our employees and these are some tips on time that will only help that engagement grow:

  1. Delegate more
  2. Be more selective about projects you take on
  3. Retrain yourself & team on how you communicate

Solid takeaways that will help you work smarter.

All we can do everyday is come to work with a positive attitude (yes, that’s a choice as well), and manage our time as effectively as possible. But even operating on all cylinders throughout the day, will not ensure that every last item gets knocked off your list. We are human. And we are managing other humans, a fact which we must never lose site of.

Amid all of the coaching and development we give and receive, if we want true strategic engagement, we also need to maintain realistic expectations of our employees AND ourselves.

Now, say that phrase again and mean it…“I will get everything done that needs to get done and it will be good enough.” Make it a mantra. Go into each day with that in your head, gift it to your people like the best-kept-secret ever, and you just might find yourself amid a giant shift.

February 1, 2016


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