Time Spent vs. Time WELL Spent

By Morag Barrett on February 3, 2012

Posted by Morag Barrett | February 3, 2012Time Spent vs. Time WELL SpentI am just finishing up a successful week, working with three senior level teams to build their team and individual effectiveness.Throughout the sessions the same challenge kept cropping up – what do I do when I am triple booked for meetings?  How do I manage competing priorities / requests for my input and contribution? How do I manage my time?For me, time management is on a par with Unicorns and Mermaids – a topic of myth and legend.  The fact is we all get 24 hours in a day, and no matter how much we may wish it otherwise, this is not going to change.   You cannot manage time; you can only manage the STUFF that you try to fit into the time available.This is where the comment ‘time spent vs. time well spent’ came into the discussion (thank you Mark E.).  Managing the stuff, the competing demands for your attention requires a proactive, thoughtful and deliberate response.  If you simply react then chances are you will end the day with an ever growing to-do list, overflowing in-box and a sense that you are swimming through quicksand, as opposed to progress against key priorities, a manageable communication flow and a sense of progress.Let me share some examples of time spent vs. time well spent:Time SpentVs.  Time WELL SpentReceiving a long email chain and sending a reply or reply all – after all that gets it out of your in-box for a while!Breaking the email chain by getting the key people together either by picking up the phone or walking down to their office to discuss what needs to be doneSitting through yet another meeting wondering why you were invited and what you could have been doing insteadClarifying beforehand (or at least at the start of the meeting) what needs to be achieved – and if necessary declining the invite or delegating it to someone more suitedProviding the answer to a question from a team member (giving them a fish), which will likely result in the same or more questions at a later dateTaking the time to ask questions and to coach / mentor / develop your team member (teach them to fish!) to build their confidence and capability to manage the situation going forwardTime well spent is about paying attention to what and how we respond to each request for our input.  Stepping in or pushing back where necessary.Think back on your week – time spent or time well spent?  If it is the former, what will you do next week to change your approach?As I reflect on my week it was definitely time WELL spent.Related ArticlesTags »coachingemailleadership development denverleadership training coloradomeetingsteam building coloradoteam building denver Share1
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