After yet another busy week, with our kaimahi attending events and hui up and down the motu, I have found myself reflecting on the importance of investing time wisely. I’m sure that we are all familiar with kōrero about not having enough hours in the day, of feeling stretched thin or burnt out. For many of us, it is a daily juggling act to make sure we are dedicating enough time to each area of our life – our whānau, our mahi, and ourselves.
I cannot pretend that I’ve struck upon a solution just yet, and in fact I regularly find myself borrowing against my own time to make it up in other areas. Working in Whānau Ora is demanding, because of course we are always aware of what is at stake: the wellbeing of our whānau and hapori. It’s easy to tell ourselves that it’s worth sacrificing whānau time or an hour of sleep in the evening if it means clearing our inboxes and keeping kaupapa moving along.
My own time management is still a work in progress, but I have been reflecting on the whakaaro of understanding what is truly urgent, and what is important.
If nothing else, the past two years have taught us that it is possible to escape the mentality that every phone call needs to be answered immediately and every email responded to the same day – both the calls and emails we receive, and those we send out to others.
As Pouārahi, I know it is my responsibility to demonstrate this attitude to my kaimahi, and to make sure that our workflows are motivated by true importance rather than a false sense of urgency. Sometimes that means deferring a hui until another day so that we can focus on meeting an important deadline. Other times that might mean taking the time to share kai and whanaungatanga so we can make sure we all have the rest and wellbeing we need to continue.
The problems of time management are not unique to Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, or indeed to Whānau Ora. However, our values as an organisation and network put us in a unique position to find new ways of working that allow our kaimahi to look after all aspects of their wellbeing, while continuing to deliver outstanding outcomes for whānau and hapori across Te Waipounamu.