If you are, or know, a serving police officer or civilian, please read the foreword in my Amazon ‘LookInside’ page (CLICK HERE) before you read further.
Is that your experience, or that of your acquaintance? It was certainly mine. I spent years listening to colleagues bemoaning the ‘time/task’ imbalance – too little of the former, too much of the latter. Umpteen priorities, which were once led by demand but are now led by ‘priorities’. Did you know that word is derived from ‘prior’, meaning foremost, first above all? All too many leaders (and Ministries) think it means ‘How many different, competing and often irrelevant stuff can we make people think is important?’ ‘How much can we make them measure because we want them to measure it for us?’ You know it’s true.
As much as I might bang on about it, though, unless and until some true leaders appear at the highest levels – i.e. the Home Office and HMG – the fact remains that if we can measure it, they will. So things have to be done.
(Years ago, Mo Mowlem, then Home Secretary, announced an attack on bureaucracy. That same day, having happily provided 999 recordings on the basis of a phone call, introduced a form and submission process for it. You couldn’t make it up.)
Yet here we are, still wondering how to manage our time in the policing atmosphere. Yep, To Do Lists. Huge, ever-expanding bits of A4 paper which are full on Monday, and fuller on Friday. (Shift workers amend that as applicable.)
And that’s it. That’s your time management input for 21st Century policing in a nutshell. Of course you can rely on officers and staff to discover Outlook all by themselves! And to learn how to use it as a task manager as well as just for e-mail. (And even the training for that leaves a lot to be desired – as the ‘Reply All’ button usage would suggest.)
To be frank, you could easily fill two days with a (good) time management course. I believe you can do an effective job in one day, but even three hours on diary and list management could have a massive impact on police effectiveness and stress levels. But given the costs, buying your staff a book and inviting them to explore the content and resources it provides could be very cost-effective.
But no-one on LinkedIn appears to be reading this far. Which is a shame because I firmly believe that what I promote – whether you get it from me or elsewhere – is DAMN IMPORTANT.
If you HAVE read this far, how about letting me know – comment, like or even share.
Someone could benefit.