What is your most precious asset as an IT executive, or any executive for that matter?
Certainly, money and investments are high on your list. You can always earn back money that you have lost and find new opportunities and investments.
If we use the criteria of renewability to screen for how precious an asset is, then we can also remove a second asset from the list: professional relationships. Your network of professional relationships is one of the most important assets that you have. Almost nothing is more important to your success. However, to a large extent, your network is in fact renewable. You can repair wounded relationships, and you can continue to grow your networks by meeting new people.
The same goes for another asset that is precious: our health and wellness. While we may take the importance of our health and vitality for granted, to a large extent we can make healthy choices that renew our health, vitality, and energy. Lifestyle changes and medical assistance enable healing. With the right diet, exercise, and stress management, we can bring a new fresh focus, more discipline, and fresh enthusiasm to our work every day.
While money, professional relationships, and health are mostly renewable, there is one asset that is not. Because it is so finite, it is more precious than any other.
The one resource that we have that is not renewable is TIME. Every second we use is a second that we cannot get back. Once time is past, it is lost to us forever.
We know this, and yet we often act as if we do not. We spend our time doing things that others could be doing instead. We do things that are not essential to our organization’s strategic priorities. We do things that are not the most important things for us to be doing as leaders.
As a result, we feel overwhelmed. We lose our focus. Ironically, our other assets suffer as well. We are stressed and lose energy. We put our health at risk. We do not relate as well with others, because we are distracted and cannot focus or give our full attention. We make poor decisions that cost money.
Time is indeed our most important asset. As an IT leader you have many conflicting demands on placed on you. Between customer meetings, staff meetings, vendor meetings, operational problems and new demands, there is little left to do what you want to do – strategizing and team development.
It is key to treat time as you would any other asset. Measure how you use it. Analyze your decisions. Make new and more strategic choices going forward. Do what it takes to set boundaries to execute those choices. Only then can you manage your overwhelm.
Use this simple one-page time tool to assess if you control your time or if time controls you.
– Assess Your Overwhelm here
Then, come back here next week for a 4-step process to get control of your schedule.
Until next time, have an effective week!
ITeffectivity LLC was founded in 2013 with the mission of helping IT Leaders bring order to their ever-changing world. Since then, Mary has advised over 80 leaders as well on behalf of Fortune 100 firms to small non-profits.