Money is a primary measuring stick for business success, but your time is one asset that can never be replaced. Effective and efficient use of your time as a CEO is crucial to your success. Quality of life, satisfaction and progress all depend on you knowing what deserves your undivided attention and time. You also need to determine what items, however urgent, do not merit your time. Here are 4 sure-fire ways to maximize your time each day:
1. Do Fewer Things
As business leaders, it’s easy for us to get caught up in “superhero syndrome” – feeling that we have to do everything ourselves, all at once. The smartest leaders do fewer things and do them extremely well. Only you can define the vision for your company, build the organization’s culture, and handle capital allocation decisions. Most other tasks can be completed by someone else, or shouldn’t be done at all.
Taking on fewer obligations doesn’t just save time – it allows you to be far more nimble and competitive. Bruce Lee once wrote, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
We all know delegation is important for scalability and growth, but it allows you to do much more than simply outsource tasks. Delegation allows you to focus your time and energy on the most critical aspects of your business. Many companies have seen their growth stifled because the CEO simply took on too much.
Highly productive leaders don’t spend their time completing tasks they could easily hire others to do. Consider offloading more repetitive tasks in order to focus on bringing more value to your company. Your time is probably best spent developing strategic partnerships and planning for growth rather than managing schedules or updating software.
3. Stay in the Sweet Spot
Your time will be most efficient if you’re completing tasks that highly motivate and interest you. While we all have tasks we don’t love, make a conscious effort to spend the majority of your time in the place where your interests, abilities and passions intersect. That’s the “sweet spot” of high impact and efficiency. You will get more done, make more progress and feel more enthusiasm for your pursuit if a large portion of your work time is spent where your mental energy and natural gifts are actively and positively engaged.
4. Block Distractions
Beware the “Got a minute?” meeting. Minutes can quickly turn into an hour or more. This can be difficult to curtail because most of us need to be needed. Add that we’ve likely promised ourselves that we’ll always be accessible to our team, and it gets even stickier. If we’re not careful, we don’t just lose the time of the unplanned meeting, but end up with additional problems to fix or crises to solve.
Instead, build strong boundaries around your time. Schedule brief meetings once or twice a week. When problems arise, help your team strategically seek solutions instead of stepping in to “fix it” yourself.
Don’t Lose Time, Invest It
Time management is a challenge all busy CEOs struggle with, yet it is key to business success. For most of us, building a business is about more than money – we are forging a legacy, creating jobs, impacting communities, and making a difference. To succeed in our goals, we can’t afford to lose our time. It should be invested wisely.
You wouldn’t operate a business without a plan for your finances. Treat your time with the same regard and budget it. Spend it wisely. Invest it in efforts that will grow into returns through relationships, revenue and growth. Your one non-renewable resource – your time – should be managed just as carefully as your cash-flow.