“What the heck, is everyone on vacation? Why isn’t anyone getting back to me? The sky is falling, can’t you all see that? Ugh!” Find yourself thinking this, or worse saying some of these things at work? You may be a suffering from the low status condition of time famine.
Time famine is a cornerstone of a person with a fixed mindset. It’s like you’re in a desert searching for that watery oasis, but at every turn your only finding hot air dryers blowing in your face. You’re exhausted, dehydrated, jacked up on caffeine and adrenaline, and your wonder why it seems like the rest of the world gives zero shits about your projects and goals. There are no victims, only volunteers. This is an optional and curable condition that you can kick to the curb.
Try these tactics on for size:
1- Pause and schedule time to meditate
Time famine starts to go away when you rein it in and take time to breath, recharge, and gain perspective. You will return from a short walk, or time on a meditation app in a meeting room, recharged and ready to confidently continue your day without sharing your stress and energy with the rest of the office.
2- Don’t assume that because you have a deadline or quarter end goal, that everyone else cares about it as much as you do!
If you do have deadlines and key time sensitive goals, please bring this forward very early on in your engagement whenever appropriate. If you are in sales, like me, offer up pricing that expires to incent the client to commit before the expiration. And, if you have a good enough relationship which is kind of your job, you can explain that it would be helpful to you if they could sign by x date, don’t bank on it, and find other opportunities to fill your pipeline in case they just can’t and are too polite to tell you. Not in sales, but gunning for a promotion or have a project deadline? Agree in advance and insure that the other party shares your sense of urgency.
3- Listen better and ask great questions.
Every hour of every day, we are missing important information that people are generously offering up in meetings, phone calls and event emails that hardly anyone reads because we’re just not listening. We need to listen to understand, not to respond.
4- Prioritize better and allocate time to the important tasks only.
Do you really need to treat every call, email and request the same regardless the source? The answer should be no, unless you work in a call center, or customer success den, or whatever they are called this week. Typically, calm achievers get promoted not those who moan about their commitments.
5- Delegate, share, and empower others on your team.
What better way to get some of the non-strategic or less important tasks off your plate than to mentor someone else into doing it as a growth opportunity.
If you’re starving for sanity, make time to feed it. Adjust your mindset to growth, focus on the big objectives, listen, and delegate or out-task the activities that boost your famine. Most importantly, stop thinking that your busy schedule is a testament to achievement, when it’s really just an eye roll inducing statement confirming you can’t control your calendar.