That’s such a distinction, isn’t it? What I want…What I need… What I have to do. Do you ever find yourself sitting in a meeting, at your desk, in your car…just feeling agitated by the push/pull of time and the growing awareness that the clock is ticking? And more often than not, you’re knee-deep, or maybe even up to your neck, in a project or crisis you hadn’t planned on, much less made time for. Every email, phone call, text, and impromptu “drop in,” makes you feel like you spend more time thinking, “what was I doing again?” instead of, “I’m so glad I checked that off my list.” Frankly, I’m feeling a little anxious just writing about the possibility. Luckily, as with all things leadership related, getting a handle on how you spend your time doesn’t have to be so elusive. You really do have some say in the matter.
Marketing may seem like an unlikely backdrop for a leadership skill like time management, but during my years in marketing and advertising, we talked a lot about “white space” and I find it totally relevant when coaching clients on shifting from “frantic and reactive” into “productive and proactive.” Creating white space in your days is crucial to achieving both what you want to do and what you have to do. Without white space, you are a victim to your own wandering mind (I didn’t say ADHD, but…), the “unexpected” that pops up and frankly, the crushing list of to-do’s that plague most every executive, bar-none. White space in your day isn’t necessarily blocks of empty space spent staring at a wall or surfing the web, instead, I’m referring to balanced and purposeful blocks of time established for the varied and specific parts of your day. Spending 15 minutes structuring your time around set meetings and appointments, can be all the difference at the end of a day between feeling accomplished and feeling like a train wreck. A little effort towards proactively managing your time puts you in the driver seat and creates the space for both the “have-to’s” and the “want-to’s.”
Do you need to create more white space in your day? Call The Bailey Group if you are ready to get proactive and productive and establish an acceptable balance of have-to and want-to.