***This article is inspired by chapter 13 of John C. Maxwell’s book Leadership Gold –
“Don’t Manage Your Time – Manage Your Life.”***
Peter Drucker wrote the following in his classic management book The Effective Executive – “Nothing else distinguishes effective executives as much as the tender loving care of their time.”
Time management has been a hot topic for decades, but as the world speeds up through technological advances, it becomes an even bigger issue for leaders. There are many expert opinions and perspectives on the tactical side of time management, but few truly get to the core of one of our generation’s greatest challenge. There is no shortage of activities to do, but adding more to your schedule isn’t the wisest or most effective way forward.
In order to maximize the limited time you have each day, implement the following three actions:
1 – Value your uniqueness by doing what you do best, not what others want you to do.
Determine and prioritize what you uniquely contribute to your team and organization. Protect your calendar to do the things that only you can do or are best equipped to do. Delegate the tasks that others can do 80% as well as you can. This will free up your time to focus on your most important action items and give others the opportunity to contribute more.
2 – Focus on doing truly important activities and cut out (or delegate) the rest.
Your time is limited. You only have 24 hours each day like everyone else on planet Earth. There are things that you love to do that others hate and vice versa. There are things that you’re doing that should be someone else’s job. Determine what those items are and adjust your daily schedule. Do a time study for at least two weeks to evaluate where you are spending your time. Reflect on the activities you are doing, then determine if you are the best person to be doing those items. If so, block time to focus on them more. If not, delegate them or dump them altogether.
3 – Grow into your potential by investing in coaching and training.
You have much more potential than you are currently exhibiting. Even if you’re excelling, you can always become better. If you want to perform at peak levels, invest in yourself through hiring a coach and/or go to training workshops. Once you’ve identified the few things that you should be doing, double down on your development in those areas so you can become world-class.
Rather than simply implementing time management tactics, look beneath the surface. Study what you’re doing and evaluate if you are focusing on the best things. Good is often the enemy of great. You will only excel at a few things in life. You can only reach your full potential in your life and work by doing what you do best and delegating other items to others who can excel in those areas.
Before developing a good time management system to help you be productive, take action to manage your life by embracing your unique contribution to your team and organization. You and those you lead will be glad you did.
Until next time…make today GREAT!
***If you need help developing a personal growth plan or implementing a leadership development program for your team, please contact me. I’d love to talk with you to determine how I can help!