Waste Not, Want Not

Benjamin Franklin (an honorary European) is famous for many simple and corny but wise sayings.  As I read something that amberfireinus posted about time, I thought about a few of them, and then my mind drifted on to managing my time at work better.

My work situation is challenging, and particularly at present due to both an upcoming vacation and an impending change in my job.  I could go into a lot of detail, but I’ll spare myself and any readers the devilish details – suffice to say, at work it often feels that time is not my friend and I put in a great number of work hours.

Recently I’ve begun cultivating a couple of people on my team whose talents warrant attention.  One in particular has some tenure, and the other is a recent hire.  This has allowed me to delegate more effectively, with greater results.  And my demands on their capabilities have increased.  Interestingly, when I expected more I received more.  This doesn’t work across the board! There are certain employees who, for various reasons, are valuable but not capable of taking this type of load.

My husband often asks When will you work fewer hours? and I am not certain how to answer.  Cultivating people to take on more responsibility is an art, and one I have yet to fully master – if it is even possible to master such a thing, given the complexity of human behavior.  I can try little structure techniques:  office hours, minimizing meetings, ongoing training programs.  All of these things have their place.  But being rigid is ultimately unhelpful, and results in poor quality code.   I am a free spirit, but not an unwise spirit.  So I waste no time, I slay my dragons, and the people on my team who deserve recognition will not only gain their rewards but help me to purchase my own.

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6 responses

  1. I once read that a good manager is one that delegates the hard skills so that they can concentrate on the soft and by doing so they create not only more time for themselves but time for their employees. On top of that they also build a greater repertoire with all. A good manager is a good balancer who k.i.s.s. (just in case had to put the dots in… that could lead to trouble lol)

  2. I like that – and it makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 1) Hire monkeys
    2) Pay them peanuts
    3) Hire a zoo-keeper to keep (1) in check
    4) Go on holiday

  4. amberfireinus | Reply

    You know, since I have known you, you have grown so much. Grown in your confidence for sure. It takes a while to get there with your employees.

    As for time management… the best piece of advice I have for you is this one. Do not make it a practice to work overtime. Because if you do, you will be in the constant state of tiredness. When you are tired, you are less productive and make more mistakes. When you are well rested you can problem solve, are more tollerant, and more able to be efficient.

    I find that alot of Americans don’t understand this concept. They think working longer hours means that they are showing how hard they work. That is poor thinking. Working efficiently is far more productive to you, the company and everyone around you. You can only do that if you are not exhausted… right?

  5. […] the roses, excellently written!  On a similar note Ilegirl’s most comes to mind about Waste Not Want Not, as we get older boy is it more tough to juggle… I think we need to all get those signs on […]

  6. […] to smell the roses, excellently written! On a similar note Ilegirl’s most comes to mind about Waste Not Want Not, as we get older boy is it more tough to juggle… I think we need to all get those signs on […]

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