We started with the age-old excuse of “I don’t have time,” and now we move on to popular excuse No. 22: “I’m just too busy at work!” As coaches, we hear this excuse a lot everyday. And we get it. Work is busy. Life is busy. It is for us, too! So, how can you balance your training, with all the other demands on your time?
Here are some tips to help you overcome the busyness of work in order to train:
1. Commit to your training. First and foremost, understand that training will make you better at your work, so making time to train will benefit you and all your coworkers. This might be the single, most important way to battle many of the excuses that get in the way of your training. Check out a blog post we wrote a while back about building your commitment to your training.
2. Triage the workplace. Most of us often fall victim to what Charles E. Hummel called the “tyranny of the urgent.” For many of us, we arrive at work each day, planning to work on issues A, B, and C. But throughout the course of the day, we are bombarded with new, “urgent” issues: D-Z! So, the items we had planned on addressing, fall to the bottom of the priority list, and often follow us home. But consider your local emergency room. The first step in working with any patient is to triage the need of all the patients and work with the most important ones first. Treat your work the same way. Keep issues A, B, and C in the mix by thoughtfully and intentionally considering the importance (not the urgency!) of each issue. Address the issues accordingly. This might require you to let some folks in the workplace know that you can’t get to their issue right away, so be prepared to have those conversations.
3. Schedule time to work… and train. This seems deceptively simple to do, and yet, it can revolutionize the way you work! Some of us live and die by our calendars. So use that to your advantage. Need some time to strategize a new network configuration? Put it on your calendar. Need some time to write up that proposal you’ve been meaning to do? Put it on your calendar. Need to find some time to train? Put it on your calendar.
4. Say no. Give yourself permission to say no to tasks and requests that don’t align with your daily priorities. Always do so appropriately, but say no to those things you can allow others to take on (also known as delegation!), are not your responsibility, or can wait.
So there you have it. Start small and take things one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be conquering both work and training!