“One of my employees was struggling with her.
“She just wasn’t getting the work done in an effective way. She tends to get stressed, saying yes, yes, yes to every request or assignment until she’s overwhelmed.
“I’ve always thought that timecomes down to the choices that you make, and the process has to be intentional. So I asked her, ‘What are the most important things that need to happen? How much must you personally do? Who else can you leverage to get things done? What can you defer?’
“In addition, I modeledfor her. Every morning, I reserve five to 10 minutes to set my priorities for the day. I make conscious choices instead of letting events dictate what I do.
“I use color-coding in my calendar. If it’s red, it cannot be moved under any circumstances. If it’s purple, I’ll aim to get it done but if I have to, I can move it. If it’s gray, it’s great if I get to it but OK if I don’t.
“One day, I said to her, ‘I see you’re really busy. You seem like you’re running at 110 miles per hour. Here’s what I do to prioritize …’
“Then I shared my color-coding system with her. I was direct about it, letting her see how I do it.
“I view myself as a coach. By sharing with her how I manage my workday, I was able to get her to adopt a similar approach.”
– Jennifer Knickerbocker, managing partner, Deloitte, Nashville, Tenn.