As a leader, you know that you do not move forward in life by default; growth and forward motion require effort and intention.
Yet how often do we go through our days responding to the various demands that arise, without stopping to consider what is most important for that day: what are the tasks or projects that will move us forward toward our visions and goals, what ‘just has to get done’, and what are merely distractions?
One of the major hindrances to good time management is that we are often not clear on our goals and priorities.
The solution is to allow your WHY to shape your WHAT.
In other words, let your goals and priorities inform your yes and no, rather than aimlessly responding to whoever yells the loudest. This is also the key to good boundary setting, as it will allow you to say yes or no to opportunities with clarity and confidence.
What is it that you are all about; what is your core purpose or mission? Compare that to the tasks that currently fill your time. The tasks that serve or support your most important work need to take priority in your schedule. They don’t need the most time allocated, but they do need to be given uninterrupted, protected time.
I encourage you to take a blank weekly calendar or diary and block out sections for uninterrupted creative time. They may be small segments each day, or larger weekly blocks. In my case, I schedule small sections in the early mornings and a week or two every few months. These are the times that are not distracted by phone calls, emails and social media. These are the times solely dedicated to working on the projects that are close to your heart – the ones that build on your why.
Another way to be proactive about your time is to schedule blocks of email time, so that emails do not drive your day. When we start the day with email, our inbox sets the tone for the day. When we start the day checking in with our key goals, prioritising our tasks list, and sharing with team members, WE set the tone for the day.
It’s a subtle difference with a significant reward.
It is a matter of retraining yourself to not assume that the priorities of your inbox match up with your own personal goals and responsibilities – Anthony Wing Kosner, Forbes Contributor
Remember that your time is your responsibility. Productive and effective leaders are pro-active and intentional about their schedules.
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