Is Your Schedule Overloaded Like A Dishwasher?

dishwasherSome couples argue about whether the toilet paper should roll over or under. Others squabble about whether toothpaste should be squeezed from the bottom or the middle. We might be unique, but we have a running disagreement about how full the dishwasher should be.

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marylynn If you’re keeping an eye on the news, you see that a lot of large companies are cutting marketing and even customer service. They’re cutting jobs and even entire departments. They’re streamlining.

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georgeAnd Mary-Lynn doesn’t fill it up enough … we spend money we don’t need to because we waste water and electricity.

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marylynn Well, we spend money when we have to wash the dishes again because some of them didn’t get washed in the overload.

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So now you see where we reach an impasse!

More importantly, this whole dishwasher discussion made us think about our schedules.

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marylynn My theory is that if you put too much into your schedule, just like the dishwasher, you can’t get it all done.

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georgeI don’t disagree that you have to be careful about overloading your schedule. I may be guilty at times of doing that, just like I overload the dishwasher according to Mary-Lynn. But you know the old saying – if you want something done, give it to a busy person.

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marylynn It’s the old 80/20 rule – 80 percent of the work gets done in 20 percent of the time. It is true that when you’re super busy, it seems like you are more productive. However, when you get too overloaded, you may not achieve what you set out to do. The result – you get frustrated and discouraged. It can even paralyze you at times.

4 ways to keep from being overloaded

#1 – Plan for reaction time

georgeWhen I first started managing people, I often overbooked myself because I didn’t allow for time to respond to my employees. I’ve seen a lot of first-time managers make this same mistake. The closer you are to the front line, the more important this is. Allow time to react to customers and employees or you’ll find yourself with too much to do in too little time.

#2 – Understand your patterns 

marylynn George is more of a morning person … I’m more of an afternoon person. So we just don’t work together at all! Seriously, plan your schedule so you’re working on your most important activities when you’re at your best.

#3 – Work at human capacity

georgeThis is a tough one. My dad, who’s one of my heroes, always thought he could get done more in a day than he actually could. He taught me well! Make sure you’re not planning ten hours of work if you only have eight hours to do it. Realize that you’re human, too. There will be times when you need to slow down or take a break.

#4 – Sometimes it pays to procrastinate

marylynn A prime example is the post you’re reading. Yesterday, we were trying to get this show done and I just wasn’t feeling well. We felt like if we pressed on, our end product wouldn’t have been as good as what you’re reading now.

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georgeSo we decided to put it off for a day. There was no reason not to … and hopefully, you’ll agree that we did alright!

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marylynn Now if I can just get George to stop loading the dishwasher so full!

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(Image by MLON)

7 replies
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I’m gonna have to agree with Mary-lynn on the dishwasher issue. But at least George puts dishes IN the dishwasher. I still can’t convince my husband to do that simple task!

    Reply
  2. Mary-Lynn
    Mary-Lynn says:

    Lisa, I do count my blessings in having a husband who isn’t afraid to rinse off the dishes and put them in the dishwasher. He even puts them away! But I’m glad you agree with me that you shouldn’t pack a load too full. Thanks for your comment!

    Reply
  3. Pavel
    Pavel says:

    You should load the dishwasher just enough so that you don’t obstruct the spray from reaching the top shelf (but load that top shelf as much as you can!)

    Reply
  4. ryan
    ryan says:

    I am a middle of the night type of person! ha!
    I really like that advice though that we are all human. I had an angry customer today due to a shipping error and spent several hours on the phone with him. There is only so much you can do.. and sometimes you just have to move on. As my girlfriend has said, you cant be superman for everyone! So my personal lesson is, stay busy but stay realistic – manage the expectations of employees and customers.

    Reply

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    Get more done by doing less. We share 4 things we do to keep our schedules from being overloaded….

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