Be Efficient With Systems NOT People

Nald Guevarrablogposts

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By Kristen & Carter Williams, Directors of Xperience Growth Coaching

I think in the recent weeks I’ve recently re-learned this lesson over and over and over – it’s a lesson from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He shares that you should never be efficient with people and that slowing down with people will actually get you further and faster. Slowing down with people is actually the way to be efficient. 

In my new found roles as preschool teacher, house-keeper, maid, chef among the ones I already had that were Mom, Realtor, Real Estate Coach, Business owner, I’m finding myself juggling all the things, just like so many of you. We also have a newborn in the home – I semi joke about this, yet she was born on the day the world shut down from COVID-19 and our plans of bringing a baby into the world and into our family suddenly shifted, as did everyone else’s. 

I have found that checking email or responding to text messages while nursing a baby or “shhh-ing” a baby to sleep is not effective or efficient. I’ll end up with spelling typos that I have to re-write & grammatical errors that have to be corrected every time I type out a text. Or there is the delusional thought that I can take a “quick work call” while my toddler is doing Cosmic Kids Yoga in the other room, because the moment I get on the phone she can sense it and she runs in to tell me something. Then, I either have to shhh her or apologize to whomever I’m talking too. Or even worse my lack of attention in the moment will often turn into attention seeking mis-behavior. Recently while I was “working” my toddler spent too much time washing her hands and decided it’d be fun to wash her hair, with hand soap. 

I have countless more examples of this working from home with your kids. It was in a moment of frustration that I had the AHA moment. I was attempting to be “efficient” only to be ineffective and inefficient at both my professional job and being a mom. I was failing at both creating a spiral of frustration within myself.

After that moment of realization, I have not set aside specific time blocks for me to do calls and follow up’s. My husband and I collaborate on schedules daily. Especially now, people are understanding and give you grace, so I’m just slowing down to be effective in the moment. So far no one has been disappointed in my response time and I’m operating more effectively AND surprisingly more efficiently too. 

The interesting thing is that I have been a person who has known this, and I follow this rule more or less, yet the rules have changed. Never before have we had multiple kids home all day, juggling ALL the roles that make our household run smoothly by ourselves. Right now, the in-home leverage is gone which makes everything harder, for us and everyone else too. The rules of being efficient have changed and right now being effective is more important. Being effective as a mother, a parent, a nurturer will result and pay off in the end. These are the moments we’ll remember fondly in 1 year, 5 years, 20- years…okay, maybe not 1 year yet in the future we’ll remember these moments fondly. As a parent, it’s so important that we love on our little people, slow down, and take the time to make them feel heard. I trust in the future it will pay off and the time we spend together will create precious memories!

The work is important too – yet effectively doing all the important things means that you cannot do both at the same time. Now that I’ve recognized the rules have changed, I’ve made peace with it and I’m doing better now. Now that I know better, I can do better!