Imagine you’re at work and a coworker or client comes to you with a problem: a division of the company is underperforming, and they need to figure out why. After a few questions, it’s clear that this division’s resources are stretched too thin.
What kind of advice would you give? You might advise reorganization; prioritizing the most valuable areas of investment while eliminating or outsourcing others. It’s a relatively basic evaluation that many of us do at work multiple times a day.
But what happens when that “underperforming division” is you?
At work every day you solve problems and plan strategically. When unexpected situations arise, you handle them. You look for creative solutions, you communicate your expectations and needs to your coworkers, and you delegate appropriate projects to others. Sure, you may not get it right every time, but you accept work mistakes as part of the learning process, you move forward, and you try to get better.
Sound about right?
The problem is so many of the smart, capable, powerhouse working women I know feel utterly inept once they step foot out of their offices. Their lives seem out of control and overwhelming because they are overstretched, and yet often underutilized. They beat themselves up over even the tiniest misstep, and they assume that others are judging them just as harshly.
We can all do more to manage our time and energy in life by using all the same savvy tools we would apply to any business problem.1