A few years back I was involved in a study conducted by the RAND Corporation. Among a lot of other things they wanted to know was the simple question: “How do you avoid getting overwhelmed when many projects and demands occur all at the same time?”
As I had said then and keep saying these days whenever a client or organization seems overwhelmed: ‘Gain or Buy yourself a Week’. You might reply: “That’s easier said then done”!
Not really. As soon as work and demands increase, you will find that there are things you really don’t like to do. Not only do these things distract from what you are really interested in, they also take time away from the tasks, and things you are really good and efficient at.
For most people, the work week is calculated at 40 hours, even though many of us actually spend more time then that at work. On the other hand we have more and more flexible work schedules to accommodate an aging work force and the demands of work and family life balance.
You can take advantage of this flexibility and Buy yourself a Week. Think of it this way. You can easily find individuals with the skill you need. They are good at filing, paperwork, administrative work, making calls, helping with the mail, and on and on and on. In most areas you can find individuals who are thankful for $10 – $12 per hour, if the schedule is flexible. To gain a week per month for yourself, you are only looking at 10-12 hours per week in support.
Adding it all up, you pay $400 – $500 a month (4 weeks x 10-12 hours x $10 per hour). Think about how much more effective you will be if you don’t have to do the things you aren’t good at. Can you make $400 – $500 in 40 extra hours a week doing what you’re good at? If the answer is yes, then by all means, Buy yourself a Week and do what you are good at, while enjoying the help of someone who likes to do what you dread doing. If nothing else, you can Buy yourself a Week of vacation for about $450. That’s a steal…
Try it, you will be amazed how nice it is to know that stuff that normally piles up and makes you inefficient can get done without pain. This would be one way to make it easier and keep yourself, your boss, manager, or leader happy at the same time.
Dr. Axel Meierhoefer