Do you spend time putting out fires, micro-managing to make sure it’s done right, trying to be elusive, schmoozing, going online to “research” ideas or something else? “A new McKinsey study finds that only 9 percent [executives, CEOs, presidents, owners] are very satisfied with how they manage time, about a third are ‘actively dissatisfied,’ and almost half feel that they don’t spend enough time focusing on the strategic direction of their company.”

PeterDruckerQuoteThe best managers balance their activities to spend time only on highest priority emergencies, interacting with customers and partners, coaching and communicating with employees and spending time “working on the business,” working on strategies, next steps, new directions, new partners, better processes. “But, I don’t have enough time and I spend my time on these other things because…”

  • There’s no one else who can do them
  • I’m the best qualified to do them
  • I like doing them (despite the fact they may not be focused on highest priority and best use of resources, time and money that I’m responsible for.)

These are excuses. It really can be a matter of ROI. How much is your time worth? Are you the right person to be doing this activity?

If you manage time to focus on your priorities, develop problem solving skills, align activities and teams you may just reduce the number of emergencies that come up.Prioritizing activities that fit in your written aligned strategy are key. We all know how to do it but day-to-day “emergencies,” schedules and personal interests get in the way. What techniques do you use to better manage time?I’d like to hear your comments about how you spend time on various activities and why you choose those activities?