— February 24, 2018
Time is our most precious commodity—the one thing we can’t ever get more of. For leaders, it’s important that time be spent on things that add value to the business—but as your responsibilities mount, it can be challenging to know how to use each precious minute.
Time management strategies abound, but so do false steps. In fact, it’s easy to be sucked into time traps, which keep you from using your days effectively. In this post, I’m going to highlight three time management traps that I run into at a lot of the businesses I visit. I hope you’ll find this helpful as you seek to steer clear of these common hurdles!
Taking Too Much Pride in Being a Doer
Leaders are, by definition, go-getters. They are high achievers. They take great pride in crossing things off their to-do lists each day—leading the team meeting, handling payroll, doing some accounting, and so forth.
Here’s the problem: At least two of the things I mentioned above—payroll and accounting—are simple, repeatable tasks that can easily be done by somebody else. In other words, you should be delegating them; if you accomplish a lot of things but don’t really do anything unique and value-adding, you’re not being truly productive!
Confusing Busyness with Productivity
Along the same lines: Just because your day is jam-packed with activity, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a lot accomplished.
An entire day spent reading email and attending meetings is not really an effective day. Don’t get me wrong: Emails and meetings are necessary sometimes. But your week should be structured in such a way that each day gives you a chance to produce, to lead, or to strategize—not merely to be busy.
Putting Off the Things You Hate
A final time management trap to avoid: Spending all day getting things done, but only as a means to procrastinate on the one big project you dread.
There’s nothing wrong with saving some of your more unpleasant tasks until you rack up a few wins—but if your schedule is all about delaying the inevitable, that’s hardly what I’d call wise time management.
Make Better Use of Your Work Day
The bottom line for business owners: You have the same amount of time in every work day. The question is, how will you spend it?