Budget your time as strictly as you do your money
If you’ve ever worked with a financial planner or money manager, you’ll know that one of the first questions they’ll ask you is, “What are you investing for?” Not, “How much do you want to make?” or “What kinds of investments appeal to you?”
No. They start with goals. Because an investment strategy meant to yield short-term, higher yields may be perfect for one person’s goals, but nonsense if you’re a younger person planning for retirement in 30+ years.
“Time management is the lynchpin that holds all the other components of management together.” Steve Pate
Similarly, time management should be based on your goals. What do you hope to accomplish at this meeting? What about this week? How about over the next year? How do you evaluate the time you’ve spent in the past month or year against expected returns?
These are the questions my panel of leadership experts and I tackle in this week’s episode of “Aim Higher.” Leaders – even good ones – are often guilty of spending time as if it’s an infinite resource that’s impossible to analyze.
Some days we just wake up and do what our Outlook calendar tells us. And that’s OK once in a while, when we’re in the thick of previous plans. But if you don’t have a strategy and a set of tools to help you plan your hours and days more effectively, you’ll soon be looking back at years where you don’t really know what you accomplished or even if you’ve moved further away from your goals.
Great leaders have to be very intentional about time management. As first-time guest Chip Nilges says in this episode, “We need to look for the ‘big rocks’ where we can make an impact.” I couldn’t agree more. As a leader, you have the unique opportunity to really impact certain projects… and people. But if you leave those decisions to chance, you’ll be wasting an awful lot of time.
My guests have some great ideas on how you can master your calendars, get ahead of the “black hole of repeat meetings,” and better invest your most precious and truly limited resource: your time.
“Beware of ongoing, process-only meetings. All meetings should be held for a purpose.” – Skip Prichard
I hope you’ll listen in.
“Using someone else’s time management system can be a huge mistake.” – Skip Prichard
“You have to have a plan, but also flexibility. Build in time for the unexpected.” – Tammi Spayde
Image Credit: Kevin Ku