Gary is a busy dad who wants to spend more quality time with his wife and three kids. The challenge is, like thousands of people these days, he wants to make a good impression at work too.
He’s the Area Manager of a specialist retailer with a lot of pressure from head office to build his patch. On top of the daily worries, he’s also three key members of staff down and he’s struggling to find the time to replace them.
After school hours and weekends are filled with the demands of his three children, and he also volunteers as a Scout leader! Can Gary get control and be the best he can be for his family and his job? We asked our Time Management expert Michael Heppell to give Gary a makeover. Here’s what he had to say…
Disease to please
Gary is a lovely bloke; in fact he’s so lovely this can sometimes create stress and new pressure.
Rather than creating time he can often end up with even more to do. Gary suffers from a syndrome that millions of others do… The disease to please!
I gave Gary just four tasks to test out for one month:
1. Stop answering the phone!
Gary always answers the phone as he thinks the call may be important. The challenge with a ringing phone is it may seem urgent, but you don’t know if it really is important until you answer it. I challenged Gary to let someone else answer his phone for four hours a day.
2. Share the lifts
It turns out that ‘Dad’s taxi’ was on the road for up to 10 hours a week dropping off and picking up the kids. I suggested asking his children if any of their friends lived near by. If so, were they able to sort out car shares for the regular trips?
3. Book some focus days
Gary reacts to every challenge immediately. In some ways he’s the perfect employee as his boss knows Gary is on the case. The challenge comes when after two months he still hasn’t been able to recruit a vital replacement member of staff. I challenged Gary to schedule in just one focus day each week where he would work on the big issues. As an extra challenge on this day, he would give his mobile to someone else to answer for the whole day. This was a big ask…
4. Date your wife
Gary and his wife are so busy with work and kids I was concerned if they were getting enough time for each other. I suggested they schedule a date, for just the two of them, and put it in their diaries. Even if it was a month or six weeks in advance – do it.
Catching up with Gary a month later I could hear in his voice that he was more relaxed.
The biggest challenge was giving his phone to someone else, but as we agreed this was a must and he went for it.
After a month-long challenge Gary said, “It was amazing, I didn’t realise quite how many calls I didn’t need to answer. I’ve halved the number of trips taking the kids to clubs and in just two focus days I found two of the replacement staff I needed. And, yes, I’ve even dated my wife.”
Michael Heppell is a “success coach”, and an expert in organisation and time management. With a style described as “shot-gunning a bucket of espresso”, Michael works with individuals, multi-national corporations and everything in between. His books – the most recent of which is How To Save An Hour Every Day – have been translated into 18 languages.
Do you want Michael Heppell to take a look at your organisational challenges and come up with an action plan just for you? For a free Time Makeover, simply email us on [email protected] and tell us why you need this Makeover!