In our Bud to Boss workshops, I often get asked about time management from a leadership perspective. How to be better at it and how to stop wasting it. While I have read much about this topic and continually try to get better at it, I am increasingly clear that we are all starting from the wrong place.
When I look at a clock it just keeps ticking. It doesn’t matter what I do, I can’t direct or control it. If I can’t control it, I propose we can’t manage time. Rather we can direct and control our choices. That, in fact, is in our control. So I’m focusing less on time management and more on choice management. When I think about choice management as a form of determining how I invest my time, I do a better job of getting more of the highest priority items done (which is what we are all talking about when we speak of managing time, right?)
This distinction is important to everyone but critical for leaders. How we invest our time as leaders impacts not just us and our careers but also organizational success (or failure). It also choices the choices others make. Those following us look to us as a model, take their cues from us, and even build their habits, consciously or not, to match ours. That is pretty powerful stuff and warrants our close consideration.
As I leave you to think about choice management rather than time management, here are three questions to answer for yourself today.
- How do my choices impact my time effectiveness?
- What choices will I make today to invest my time more wisely?
- What is the most important thing for me to invest my time on today?
Not sure where to get started? Check out this new video for insight on what not to do to boost your productivity.