So Much to Do, So Little Time!
The quality of a person's leadership will be in part measured by time: its use and its passage. The character and career of a young person largely depends on how he or she spends spare time. We cannot regulate school or office hours — those are determined for us — but we can say what we will do during, before, or after when there is time available. The method we employ to find the "additional time" will determine whether we develop into mediocre or powerful people. It also will determine how effective a leader we become. Directing our time at work or outside work purposefully and productively will lead to success — at work or in life. Minutes and hours wisely used translate into an abundant life. The famous Italian architect, painter and sculptor, Michelangelo Buonarotti, was pressing himself to finish a work on deadline when someone warned him, "This may cost your life!" He replied, "What else is life for."
The good news is that time is the one variable in your daily life that is under your control. We cannot control countless other variables — the economic climate, what our competitors are doing, or the laws and regulations that affect our industries. Other factors influencing productivity such as structure, leadership style, culture, control processes, and training programs are controllable only at the highest levels of an organization. However, each of us can control what we do with our available time. Everyone is capable of learning how to manage time more effectively because it does not require additional skills or knowledge.
It is no wonder that Academy Leadership's foundational leadership development programs include time management. The title of our session demonstrates the importance of this topic: Setting Leadership Priorities. It is indeed the effectiveness of your activities in each hour of your day — not necessarily the number of hours you work — that determines the result you and your team will accomplish. Setting leadership priorities improves the quality of life in the workplace. It helps diminish the hurry, stress, and frustration of the crisis management atmosphere that plagues so many organizations. It also provides proper intervals for coaching, conflict resolution, goal setting, and other important topics that we facilitate during our program workshops such as the Leadership Boot Camp or the Leadership Excellence Course.
When you organize your time well, you help keep everyone in your work group on track toward their goals. These improved results can bring a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of the day and the work week. They also increase your opportunities to earn recognition, rewards, and additional compensation. Never respond to something with, "I don't have time" rather say, "It's not a priority!"
Ultimately, honing your time management skills will allow for better time spent outside the work place. Do not allow the pace or stress in meeting deadlines cost you added anguish or impact on having good health. Wouldn't you want to spend more time on family, friends, hobbies, your health, and have an added sense of well-being in your life?
Perry J. Martini, Ph.D., is a 1971 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and later earned three Masters Degrees in Business, Education, and International Affairs. He holds a Doctoral Degree in Education with Distinction from The George Washington University. Perry was a Naval Aviator and served for twenty-seven years in multiple leadership positions. He is currently the Director of Executive Leadership Programs at Academy Leadership, and an accomplished author and speaker.