It’s easy to think of waste in material terms – waste of money, or waste of resources.
But our busyness – which keeps us feeling involved and engaged even when we’re not doing what matters to us – covers up many other kinds of waste, equally significant.
Here are five that are addressable by shifting your requests and your responses to requests:
- Not asking: The waste that comes from expecting that other people will know what you want and all the waiting, resentment, and frustration that comes when it turns out that they don’t.
- Imagining you’ve been asked, when you haven’t: The endless waste of projects and tasks duplicated and not needed, in your eagerness to be seen to deliver and be productive.
- Not checking that what you asked is possible: Skipping the necessary to-and-fro of conversation which checks that the person that you asked understood and had the time, capacity and skilfulness to respond. Without all of these, your requests are, often, as good as nothing.
- Not saying no: moving into action without checking your own capacity. This one leads to the endless waste of time and commitment that comes from being overstretched, or being unable to fulfil the promises you’ve made.
- Not paying attention to your own changing circumstance: Saying, and meaning, a genuine yes to a request but later finding yourself unable to deliver, and pretending nothing changed… leading to both damaged trust and delays.
If you worked on becoming more skilful at these five, you’d make huge strides in your capacity to do what matters without so readily wasting your own, and others’, time, resources, commitment and good will.