Return On Time: 7 Timely Tips
Monday, February 13, 2012
Posted by: Todd Ordal
"The only reason for time is so that
everything doesn't happen at once.”
we talk a great deal about "return.” Return on investment, cash-on-cash return,
return on equity and return on invested capital are a few. However, whether
you’re a CEO or a sales rep, perhaps your most important measurement of return
is your return on time.
Most of you who are reading this newsletter
have a good deal of discretion as to how you spend your time. It’ is unlikely
that someone forced you to read this. You decided that at this moment, this is
what you should do. (Hint: If this topic has no interest to you, stop now and
time-management seminar I went to 30 years ago started off with this statement:
"Regardless of who you are, we all have 24 hours in our day.” I don’t recall
anyone jumping up to argue. This obvious point still holds true today. However,
we now have 537 cable channels, Facebook®, cell phones, email, You Tube and
much more traffic to contend with. I watched The Jetsons as a kid and thought
about how cool it would be to have all of those gadgets and a robot maid so I’d
have more free time. I’m still waiting.
with many leaders and often had conversations with them about how to best spend
their time. I frequently wonder the same about myself. As a result, I came up
with Todd’s Seven Timely Tips for Increasing Return on Time.
your values. A great place to start taking control of your time is by
identifying your values and then determining whether the activities and time
you’re investing (or squandering) are consistent with these values. (If you
want a vehicle to examine your values, email me and I’ll send you a free
assertive. You don’t need to have a relationship with everybody who rings your
doorbell or calls you on the phone. Trying to be nice to everyone prevents you
from doing what you should be doing. A talented client who’s CEO of a large
company recently said, "I don’t want to be seen as a jerk, but I just can’t go
to lunch with everyone who asks.” Some will see him as a jerk, but he’s right.
3. Plan. If
you don’t plan, how can you know what’s most important? If an activity doesn’t
take you closer to your long-term objectives, do you need to do it, or did you
get sidetracked? (It’s OK to look at shiny new things occasionally.)
"comparative advantage” to your advantage. (If you aren’t familiar with the
economics term "comparative advantage,” look it up. I swear it’ll be a good use
of your time.) If you love to mow the lawn, great! If not, get someone who’s
faster and find a better outlet for your time. I had a client who swore he
could do everything better than all of his employees. He probably could, but he
was miserable and couldn’t grow his business as a result.
wealth in terms of discretionary time, not money. This causes you to think
differently about your activities and what has value. The guy above was
financially very wealthy but couldn’t take a vacation even though he could
afford to buy a jet to do so! I’m writing this on a Monday. I’m skiing tomorrow
because there’s supposed to be a foot of new snow. (Admittedly, it might be a
late night tonight!) Tomorrow, I’ll be wealthier than the guy with the pile of
that longer is not better. Pretend you’re hiring me as a consultant to help you
solve a large problem. It’s going to take six months and require a $250,000
investment, but it will bring in $3 million in new revenue. Wait … I just found
a way to do it in five minutes. Does this have more or less value to you?
Longer is not better; it’s just longer.
Nobody gets this right all the time. Just course-correct frequently.
minutes right now to reflect on this and identify what you can do differently
to increase your return on time. Do it now!
"…And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun
And you run and you run
To catch up with the sun
But it is sinking….”
--Time, Pink Floyd
I hope this
provided you a generous return on time.
© Todd Ordal, 2011 Todd Ordal, CMC,
works with CEOs and their executive teams to increase performance, resulting in
better financial results, clear strategy, better leadership or a better night's
sleep for the CEO…without narcotics! You can reach Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org