Time is one of your most precious resources. Once lost it can’t be replaced.
I’ve known great executives that have become merely good executives when they simply hadn’t used their time well. On the flip side, I've also seen good executives turn into great ones when they’ve applied each action of their day to its best purpose.
I frequently get asked for some tips on time management and making better use of time for those at the executive level.
Here are some of my thoughts on not wasting that precious resource called time:
1. I believe we all achieve true happiness and flow in our personal and business lives when we spend our day doing what we enjoy most. It’s important to bring your personal values into sync with what’s important to your duties at the workplace. We all excel to the fullest and more effectively so, when we enjoy what we do. List for yourself and identify where your strengths are best suited and start to delegate the other tasks you don’t flow with to people that may be better suited for them.
2. Discontinue unnecessary meetings. Many companies have fallen into the trap of carrying on with weekly meetings etc, because that’s how it’s always been done. Quite simply, the past does not equate the future. If there is truly no ongoing benefit, discontinue the meetings.
3. Protect yourself from unwanted visitors. I made it a rule years ago, I would never answer my phone if the time was not right for me. I also made it a rule never to take walk in meetings with people that are cold calling. I and many others find cold calling to be a very intrusive outdated way of building a business relationship. There are so many other ways to make a positive impression and generate a meeting if the prospect is interested.
4. Learn to spend less time in crisis. Don’t get caught up in what others may deem urgent. Many so called crises don’t deserve the attention we give them. Become a master at analyzing problems in stealth mode. Never leave an important task for one that shouts louder. This is where having exceptional staff in place to be active decision makers can really benefit your personal time and company.
5. Stop procrastinating. If you just went and did that thing you don’t really want to do, that thing will no longer be on your mind and you could focus on other things.
6. Take time to restore your energy and attitude. Find your happy place, get out of the office, go for a walk, take an extended lunch with a friend, do some yoga. Whatever restores your enthusiasm and passion – just do it!
7. Learn to ask yourself questions like – Is this the best use of my time? Your inner voice will answer correctly most all the time.
This is just a small slice of the executive time management cake. There’s far more you can do to streamline your workday if you wish to.
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