It’s not uncommon for people to ask me how I have time to be so involved on campus. I‘m sure many of you reading this can relate. Recently, I was talking to a trusted mentor about an idea I’ll be developing in spring. He asked me an important question, “how do you have time for this project with all the other things you do on campus?” He had a point; the project I’m developing will be time-consuming, but oh-so-rewarding for the students, and for me. This question really got me thinking about time. Do I have the time? If I don’t, how do I find the time to build something that I believe in wholeheartedly?
If I had to guess, many #SApros and other dedicated professionals hear similar comments such as, “you’re so busy all the time, how do you do it?” or “don’t work so much, you’ll get burned out.” To be honest, I never know how to answer this. These questions come from a place of concern, yet I want to turn to them and say, “Why don’t I have the time?” Do they want a run down of my schedule so that they can see that I do have time? Do they want a lesson in time management so they too can find time to be “busy?” I tend to answer this question with an awkward laugh and a shrug of my shoulders.
It’s made me realize that having a strong understanding of time management skills is another characteristic that makes a strong leader. A leader is tasked with not only motivating and coaching a team, also with the need to keep a department moving forward.
I think time management strategies vary from person to person. What works for me doesn’t work for another person and vice versa. I know there are countless articles on time management that tell us how the most successful people use their time. I’ve read these articles and I’ve never adapted my strategies based on what works for an extremely successful entrepreneur. The only similarity these types of articles have is that successful people hustle and create time to be involved in projects they believe in.
My number one time management tool are my calendars- my personal one and my professional one. I also keep a to-do list that I make on Sunday and actively use to guide me during office hours. I’m constantly adding to the list and scratching things off.
I recently took on a personal project, writing a column for the local newspaper. It wasn’t hard for me to find time to write that article. Instead of sitting in the waiting room perusing the Internet, errrr…I mean reading educational articles, I brought my computer and spent 30 minutes brainstorming for my article. I even got the first 500 words down. My point being, when you utilize your time properly, you get a lot done.
Did you know CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, is also CEO of Square, another tech company? The famous Steve Jobs led Pixar and Apple at the same time. It doesn’t stop, Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX , Tesla, and he’s also a chairman for SolarCity. I wonder if people ask them, “are you sure you aren’t too busy?”
How do you manage your time so you’re making the most out of your day? How do you respond to people when they try to tell you that you’re too busy and you need to slow down when that isn’t the case?