“Increasing” Availability

When given the challenge of being in a managerial or similar position that requires availability to those working under me, I felt like I needed to assess where my hours were being spent. I was getting complaints that I was not available enough or accessible. Giving my cell phone number or e-mail and having 24/7 access to communication simply wasn’t enough.

So, I put together an Excel spreadsheet for each day of the week. This enables one to be conscious of where they are spending their time, and also forces us to start being more available in order to put more time on the spreadsheet. While I increased my available hours from one week to the next by nearly 50%, the people that needed me said I was available and accessible just as much, if not less than the week prior.

I concocted another experiment and simply dropped the people who I was responsible for simple handwritten notes that said, “Hi!” or a similar greeting on it a few days out of the week. The result? While the week I wrote these notes marked my availability at 75% lower than the original week without recording my hours, all parties attested to me being around more and it felt like I was much more available if they needed me. 

That being said, it’s essential to find that “physical note” that can go the extra mile in showing people you are around, but in fact, it enabled me to be unavailable even more of the time, spending only a few minutes a week with the notes I put together. This is a time saver, as well as a somewhat deceptive trick. While it appeared I was more available, I was not actually around, but I still had the capacity of the 24/7 virtual availability. None of that had changed.

Productivity Death Match has a lot more to say in terms of lifestyle design and management regarding similar topics and strategies.

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~ by trentgillaspie on November 19, 2008.

6 Responses to ““Increasing” Availability”

  1. The “feeling” of availability is what they wanted, and what you wanted them to feel… so… this seems to be a good thing, no?

    Besides, isn’t what everyone ultimately wants is knowing someone is there? 🙂

  2. Hey Trent

    Just dropping you a note to make you think I’m available if you need me.

    But I’m not.

  3. Ps.

    I have you book marked under “poetry” because I didn’t know where else to put your writing.

    Ha!

  4. It’s not so much about just being available as it is letting others know you’re there for them…. with reminders. Good thing you figured this out as it should take you far in business. 🙂

  5. PS now after reading… Predictably Irrational is so the book for you. Good testing done here, as testing is what us market researchers thrive on. Looking to see what you test next in the social marketplace. haha

  6. It’s not simply good enough to let others know that you are there for them though. As I’ve been doing that forever (I always try to be there for my friends, and let them know constantly), the idea of actually placing a visual for them goes much further.

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