“How did this happen?” Those were the first words of my day as I looked at a split screen of my calendar and my journal. Have you ever had an “aha” moment that stopped you in your tracks and made you realize that you are off course? That was my 6am realization a couple of weeks ago. I knew then that I need to learn to be proactive with my schedule and my intentions.
In leadership, a strong indicator of effectiveness is our schedule. The reality is this: if it isn’t in our schedule, it more than likely doesn’t happen. As I looked at my weekly schedule, I realized that in my “busy-ness” there were 3 glaring problems:
One big challenge was that I was living in the land of wishful thinking. I not only was double booking myself but I was allotting too little time to accomplish what would require much longer brain time. I even overlooked travel time from appointment to appointment. It’s like I had scheduled myself based on best case scenarios.
Second, I had allowed others to control my schedule. There were three meetings that did not require my attention. Others had thought it would be good for me to be in the meetings so I just said yes. Silly… I let others decide what should be my priority.
Finally, what really jumped out at me as a huge problem, is that my schedule reflected a value of addition instead of multiplication.
What’s the difference?
Well, for one, addition is about NOW. Multiplication is about TOMORROW. And tomorrow, as unknown as it is, is about growth beyond what you can currently handle. If my schedule only reflects today’s problems and not tomorrow’s opportunities than I am about addition. And it means I am not doing my best to be proactive.
Also, when my schedule reflects multiplication it prioritizes investing in specific people for the sake of their development not just the priority of programs. Be proactive – not reactive – to build, grow and multiply.
So, here are two action steps we can all take:
- Work two weeks in advance. I know this isn’t 100% possible. BUT it is 80% possible. Lately I am setting up my calendar in detail at least two weeks in advance and leaving 20% in flex to be able to adjust to the needs of others. Getting ahead is key to following through on your values.
- Look at your schedule at the beginning of the month and ask yourself this question: How am I investing into the future? This question has helped me prioritize people as well as the most important tasks in building leadership.
Remember, to stay on top of your schedule means you need to be proactive. Emphasis on active – active management of your schedule. I don’t know about, you but I’m tired of early morning “aha” moments.
Let’s connect and talk about how you can work to get ahead.