07 December 2006

Do you suffer from FTI?

The one thing most people consistently complain about is a lack of time – and I am probably the worst offender. Well, I have decided to do something about it and the first step became obvious to me recently when I attended a seminar discussing amongst many other things, my favourite new term – FTI or “failure to implement”. I have it written in big, bold letters across the whiteboard in my office and it is the one thing I am in the midst of changing and removing from my vocabulary.

We are all bombarded with pressures and demands from a hundred different directions. Some days seem like you get nothing done simply because you are responding to emails, phone calls, SMS messages, faxes, letters and face to face encounters. Whilst this can drive you nuts, I also believe it is the main reason for FTI. We get too busy on the day to day stuff to actually implement things that need to be done and we don’t get the time to put systems into place to make things happen automatically. The end result is that we slowly go nuts trying to do more and more but never really getting there. It’s like treading water without going in any direction.

I recently met with clients who have been stressing out for years trying to figure out how they can work less but they have never actually managed to find the time to sit down and work out how to do it. It is on the never ending list of “things to do” but it isn’t getting any closer to the top of the list. My advice to them was to have a meeting tomorrow, sit down and work it out – and don’t leave the room until a clear and realistic plan is locked in and implemented. They did it and now their lives have turned around – and of course they realise they should have had that meeting years ago. It’s always easy to offer advice form the outside looking in.

I don’t know too many businesses that don’t suffer from some degree of FTI and it is a nasty little critter. It creates frustration, exhaustion and an overwhelming sense of frustration. I am certainly going to do something about it (and today not next year) and I hope that anyone else reading this who feels like they are treading water, starts working right now to get rid of the FTI bug.

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