Are You Wasting Time on Time Management?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On February 6, 2017

Businessman stop time isolated on white backgroundBusiness leaders are always looking for something that will give their companies a competitive edge. One obvious way to get a leg up on the competition is to out-perform them—to be more productive. That’s the appeal behind time management approaches. If you use your time wisely (so the thinking goes) you’ll get more done than your competitors.

But is time management really worth the time, or are you actually wasting time? It’s not that time management is a bad thing—it’s not. But it’s not the BIG thing. It doesn’t matter how effectively you coordinate your daily calendar if you’re working on the wrong stuff.

Let’s say you run your meetings with precision. You start on time and end when you say you will. You don’t waste time on frivolous tasks. All participants show up on time and are prepared to discuss the items on the agenda. There’s no time wasted with chit-chat. Is that a successful meeting? If your goal is to be efficient, you could make the case that it was a successful meeting.

However, what if the whole purpose of the meeting was about something that simply isn’t that important to the success and growth of your company? As a leader, your responsibility lies not so much with managing the time as it does with setting and clarifying the priorities of the business. Leadership is about leading—not just managing.

Of course setting the right priorities depends on having the right vision. If it’s not clear what you’re working toward, you can’t really set priorities for which activities matter most. Is your vision clear and compelling? Do your team members know what it is and are they on board with it? Here’s a helpful post that offers you three simple ways to test your vision.

It’s great to work efficiently. But before you work on managing the amount of time you spend on specific tasks, make sure you have your priorities straight and that you’re working on the right tasks—ones that will drive sustained growth for your business.