August 2022 – HOPE for Leaders Newsletter

Try these tips to use time wisely

 Do you often complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day? Well, you can’t magically insert a 25th hour, but there are strategies to help you better use the time you’ve got. Try these:

  • Stop demanding perfection. Perfectionists waste a lot of time. They proof reports five times when two would do. They practice speeches 40 times when they’d nailed them at 20. They peer over shoulders making sure others are doing their work perfectly, too. Stop worrying about being perfect and simply focus on doing your best.
  • Stick to your schedule. You’ll get more done if you try to do the same things at about the same time each day. For instance, check your e-mail twice a day, morning and afternoon. You may balk at the idea of mapping your day, minute to minute. But if you, say, schedule all appointments in the morning, you’ll always have a block of uninterrupted time to complete assignments in the afternoon. Come up with a plan that suits your workstyle-and honor it.
  • Learn to delegate. When you insist on doing everything yourself, you overload your schedule and signal employees that you don’t trust them-which is demotivating. Look at your project list and think about how you might distribute some of those tasks to help workers strengthen their skills and to give you a little extra time for those duties that require your personal touch.
  • Accept your limitations. As a leader, you spend much of your workday tending to the needs of your employees. And you may repeat that pattern with your family. You can’t be all things to all people, and if you try, you’ll wind up shortchanging everyone. Give yourself permission to say no to things that don’t further your goals or enhance your life.

~Adapted from “10 ways to make more time for yourself-start today!” by Jenni Prokopy

Follow through

 You’ve heard that what gets rewarded gets done. Well, it could also be said that what’s inspected gets done right. Just because you’ve empowered your team doesn’t mean you can ignore them. Since you’re responsible for their work product, you must check from time to time to make sure their tasks are being performed correctly. Don’t micromanage but do occasionally check their progress and ask how things are going. Your interest will remind your team that these are high-priority projects and that you care about their success in completing them.~Adapted from “Deal with people effectively: Become a better manager” by Cord Cooper

Follow these guidelines to improve decision-making

 Struggling to make a difficult decision? Follow these steps:

  • Accept your mission. Create a mission statement that expresses who you are, what you value, and what you want to accomplish in life. Let it be your touchstone when making difficult choices.
  • Investigate your options. Thoroughly investigate your options and the pros and cons of each alternative. If you discover the risks of one option outweigh its benefits, your decision won’t be as difficult as you imagined.
  • Consult your mentors. Seek advice from people you trust and admire, but make sure they’ve qualified to counsel you on the subject at hand. You may trust your mother, but if she doesn’t understand the market, she’s not the best person to guide your investments.
  • Refresh your mind. Beware of making critical decisions when you’re exhausted, undernourished, pressed for time, or stressed about other matters. Try to take time to rest and regroup before making your choice.
  • Make your call. Once you’ve covered all your bases, you gain nothing by continuing to ruminate. Decide.
  • Find your peace. Don’t waste energy second-guessing yourself. You’ve made your decision. Accept it and move on.

~Adapted from “Making decisions: When it comes to decision time, apply the rules of the road”