Time vs Value
I recently visited the serene beaches of Mozambique and decided my time with family and friends was more important than access to a network for my devices. So I decided to not get a local sim card and stay offline. To my surprise the dogs and the house were still in one piece, and the world survived without me – sjoe, what a relief!
Have you ever put off a sideline project around the house, a side hustle for the next big thing, an upskilling course (whether it be professional or personal), or even reading a book you’ve looked at for a year? If you said yes, it’s probably because you feel that you, ‘ahem’, don’t have time.
But let me ask you this:
Do you ever feel like you’re chasing your tail? Like there are simply not enough hours in a day, between the never-ending emails, to-do lists, meetings, and deadlines? Well, I certainly do!
I recall sitting in an Enneagram session with a business coach a few years ago as a result of poor time management, ineffective tasks and frustrations that slowed me down. One particular exercise was to calculate my hourly rate and then consider the financial cost of wasted time on unnecessary or admin related tasks. The ultimate objective was to focus on key daily tasks effectively, thereby freeing up important time that could be used more productively.
Because, let’s face it, time is the one commodity we all cannot retrieve. Our life (time) is precious (value), especially to our loved ones. Yet we can so easily get ensnared by the self-perpetuated vortex of “being too busy”. Peter Drucker’s famous statement sums it up: “Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed”. By being more vigilant with time based on value orientated objectives and prioritizing, we could probably free up an extra 75-90 mins a day. That is nearly an extra work day in a week! Now there’s no excuse for avoiding that sideline project, side hustle, course or book!
I suppose the big question is how, other than stringent time management regimes, would free up this extra time? I would like to suggest that this can be achieved by introducing tech-friendly applications that can digitize specific tasks without much actual physical learning or adoption, even possibly incorporating third party ecosystems for automations.
Artificial Intelligence and Time Management
Time management is defined as the process of planning and organizing your time to make the most productive use of it. So the art of time management, simply put, deals with making the most out of your limited 24 hours. Successful implementation and utilization of your time will lead to guaranteed success and the completion of your goals and objectives. Good time management is not working longer hours; it is about working smarter and more effectively.
How does Artificial Intelligence Ease the Process?
From booming corporates to small and medium-sized enterprises, companies have already begun implementing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for time management to balance and enhance their task force. AI-powered systems have ruptured the workforce as new tools of the trade and are known for their ability to optimize results in the least amount of time. With this help we are moving away from dreary manual tasks, to more automatic and modern operations intended to simplify the whole process.
We have already seen how AI is transforming a variety of industries with its ability to perform routine tasks and leave the workforce to perform more challenging tasks like strategizing. This helps leverage the potential of the workforce without burdening them with mundane, time-consuming tasks. As AI takes the leap to the next level, businesses around the world are recognizing its importance to enhance efficiency and productivity. On that note, here are a few parting thoughts to help your business trajectory, with the use of better time management delivering better value for you and your client.
Have a ‘time management’ budget—and a proper process for allocating it.
This may seem radical, but understand what your time is worth, and allocate it accordingly. If you despise or procrastinate doing specific tasks thereby wasting time trying to motivate yourself doing so, you could probably hire or outsource it at a fractional cost compared to your hourly fee, freeing up time to focus on your key priorities.
Think about time when you introduce organizational change.
Getting this right is largely a balancing act. It’s something that often leaves managers overwhelmed with more reporting than they can manage productively. However, in a smaller environment, the delayering can be a time saver because it strips out redundant roles that add complexity and unnecessary tasks but makes allowance for new energy and learning capability.
Think about when you have to upgrade your laptop or change office computer programs. The changes, the downtime – it’s a nightmare! But the result is worth it if executed correctly. Factoring in the change, regular back-ups of your laptop contents, surveys between staff before you change systems and get their approval for proper adoption, and supplying correct training are all important things to consider.
Ensure that you and your team routinely measure and manage time.
At one leading professional-services firm, a recent analysis revealed that the senior partners were spending a disproportionate amount of time on current engagements, to the exclusion of equally important strategic priorities, such as external networking, internal coaching, and building expertise. My understanding of this is Accountability 1-0-1 – sometimes say NO! We easily get pulled into random engagements that don’t have direct true impact on us or the employees called to be present.
If being client facing with customers is a goal, for example, how much time are you devoting to activities that encourage it? Most can’t answer this question. They often find that they devote a shockingly low percentage of their overall time to these priorities. For example, if you spent almost all your time putting out fires and doing unproductive administrative work it’s easy for time to run away with you, leaving you with no time for the aspects where you’re able to add real value. The reason for the misallocation is that your time was neither structured nor measured. Always be conscience of your time.
Refine the master calendar
To create time and space for critical priorities, be clear about what you and your team will stop doing. Organizationally, that might mean reviewing calendars and meeting schedules to make an honest assessment of which meetings support strategic goals, as opposed to update-focused meetings slotted into the agenda out of habit or in deference to corporate tradition. Have purpose.
Provide high-quality administrative support
Such approaches, which make the executives’ allocation of time dramatically more effective, underscore the importance of not being “penny-wise and pound-foolish” in providing administrative support. This is probably the single biggest arena where the use of AI can be utilized by digitising tasks, freeing up valuable time for your staff. Manage the training, and implementation of new systems that will ultimately make the job more rewarding and create a new season of excitement and focus in your team. I have heard it said that our authenticity is our greatest tool.