One of the most precious commodities any leader has is their time. How we spend it matters greatly.
Our goal as a leader should be to influence others. In fact, John Maxwell defines leadership by that very word: influence. (You can even buy a ringtone of him saying “Leadership is influence: nothing more, nothing less”! Ha! )
So if our time is important, and our goal is influence, we need to spend our time doing things that will lead to influence. Right? (nod your head here).
I’ve worked with many different time management systems – there are some great ones out there. But, ultimately, they are just that, time management systems. I would prefer to manage my influence, which dictates the management of my time or, even better, the investment of my time. This is a work in progress for me, but here’s a suggestion on how to do just that.
Recreate your “to-do” list for the purpose of influence, not time management (time management will be a by-product). Specifically, here’s the steps:
• Create 4 lists (I do this in Wunderlist, which automatically updates on my computer, Iphone & Ipad):
- Influential: things that will influence others in their faith, equip or develop them as leaders, or enhance your own leadership.
- Important: things that support the influential tasks. These might include program planning, communications, etc.
- Imperative: things that you are required to do in your job or personal life.
- Interesting: things that you enjoy doing & are a good outlet with some value, but if not completed do no harm.
• Start each day focused on those things that are most influential & stay focused on these as long as possible.
• Set a goal & work toward creating a routine where you:
- Spend 50 – 60% of your time in the “influential” category.
- Spend 25-30% of your time in the “important” category.
- Spend 5 – 10% of your time in the “imperative” category.
- Fill in any remaining time with the “interesting” category.