- Though most managers understand that time is their scarcest resource, few make the effort to gain a strategic perspective on how they spend their hours each week.
- Still fewer make a regular practice of keeping track of how the priorities they say are most important align with the way they actually spend their time.
- Break your responsibilities into categories - both strategic and tactical—identify not more than six.
- Ask yourself what percentage of your time you should be spending in each category. To answer, factor in the competing claims on your time: the activities that enable you to generate the most leverage, the company’s strategic priorities, and the short-term needs of your supervisors, direct reports, and customers.
- Check for alignment with your manager. Check with your manager and key colleagues; ask them to share their time allocations, if possible. Sharing time allocations with a team gives a group focus and cohesion.
- Audit your time. Take out last week’s calendar, and evaluate it using your newly established time allocations for each category. This will give you a sense of how much adjustment will be necessary going forward. Record how you spend your time in a time-management log—for many, this very discipline is half the battle.
BOTTOMLINE: Now that you have a plan for leveraging your time, "all you need to do" is be ruthless in your execution of it. (Which of course, takes discipline...)