Do you get paid to attend meetings? How about talking on the phone, sending and receiving emails? What happens to the amount of your paycheck each week if nothing gets done? I mean you were a busy employee, but you didn’t accomplish anything on your project list. If you are like most full-time employees, you got your paycheck anyhow.
Eight years ago when I formed my own company and decided I could do more good for more companies as an independent consultant I gave up a salary. I no longer get paid to attend meetings, conference calls and communicate over the phone or email. This is all administrative work that is part of the job. Much like a commission sales person, I am only paid when I accomplish work.
There are weeks I make nothing, yet I put in 40+ hours. There are weeks I make more than my old salary used to be in a week. Yet it is also clear that if I choose to waste time, I will not get paid. And although I have always been a productive person, I doubt I gave that much thought to getting paid and accomplishing nothing in return when I was on salary.
But that all changed when I became a consultant. I am very in tune with the absence of income and how it connects to wasting time. I watch with horror the folks that can avoid making decisions that are costing their companies thousands of dollars over the course of days, weeks, months without missing a single paycheck. Being busy is not the same as being productive, is something I learned years ago training time management. Our activities either advance our agendas or hold them back.
Ask yourself if you have decisions to make, and how even a single day delay will affect others. Now pause, and ask yourself why you are postponing decisions for months and if they are costing your company to lose out because of you. Each time you cash a paycheck, ask yourself what you accomplished that pay period to earn this money. If you only come up with attending meetings, talking on the phone and emailing people, then maybe you should give the check back because you didn’t really earn it.