There is always time to get important projects and tasks done, the challenge is not time. The challenge is our focus and priorities. The reason you’re not getting the results you want has nothing to do with how you manage time. It’s the result of your “to do list”. It’s the management of your attention, projects and tasks the need improvement, not the management of your time.
The key concern for leaders is effectiveness – doing the right things. The reason you’re not getting things done is not the lack of time, rather it’s a lack of focus and priority. It’s not knowing what are those few right things that matter.
There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do those few things that matter – those actions and decision that have impact and contribute to results. Therefore the primary challenge for leaders is to manage their effectiveness not their time. Not convinced? Consider some the findings from a Bain & Company research project, that surveyed 1,800 executives – including 480 C-suite executives – and found the following:
- 64% of executives agree that their company has too many conflicting priorities.
- Nearly half of executives (49%) say their company has no list of strategic priorities.
Executive attention is the scarcest and most precious resource in any enterprise. Focusing leadership attention – doing the right things – is what leads to results. If executive attention is not focused on the right things no amount of “time management” techniques will be of use.
Too often we squander out time on projects and tasks that do little to move us towards the results and outcomes that matter. The question we all need to ask is “What’s important?”, “What are those projects and tasks that contribute most to the results I’m seeking?” or “What decisions can I make that would have the greatest impact?”. The goal here is effectiveness – doing the right things – if we do these things the results will follow. Use your time doing those projects and tasks that will have the biggest impact, delegate or ignore the rest.
If you’re not getting all your work done or if you’re busy. It’s not because you’ve run out of time or that you’ve not mastered time management. Rather it’s because you lack clarity concerning what matters.
- Do you have clarity on what matters?
- Are your priorities clear?
- Does your calendar and to do list reflect these priorities?