Theophrastus said, “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” Last summer I attended the 2020 GLS (Global Leadership Summit) which is a two-day simulcast conference held every August and attended by more than 400,000 people around the world. The GLS is a conference that I consider essential to re-charging my leadership batteries during our long hot summers.
One of the speakers was Rory Vaden, noted consultant and bestselling author of Procrastinate on Purpose, Five Permissions to Multiply Your Time.
In his presentation, Mr. Vaden outlined four basic steps of time management; he said that when a new task hits your desk always ask yourself four questions…
– Can it be eliminated? If you can live without it, eliminate it.
– Can it be automated? Leverage technology to free up time.
– Can it be delegated? You are a leader; lead by doing the important stuff and delegate the rest.
– Does it have to be done now? If not, recycle it back to step 1.
Much has been written and said about steps 1, 3 and 4. The first and last steps are simple matters of priority whereas step three, delegation, is a deep and often misunderstood topic that I will dive into another day.
Of automation Mr. Vaden says, “Always ask yourself if something you are tasked with can be automated?” That is a challenging thing to ask business owners and leaders to do. Automation takes time, planning and money so leaders may expect the ROI on that decision to be minimal. But that may be a short-sighted view of automation, especially given today’s proliferation of apps and relatively inexpensive technology available to businesses.
Good business leaders think of time in the same way they think of money. Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money.” So, what is the value of freeing up time? The question you should ask is, what is the value of lost time?
Rory Vaden put it this way, “Automation is to time what compound interest is to money.” Wow! Think about that. You would never invest money for simple interest when compound interest is available. Think of time in the same way. By freeing up your time, you are getting dividends on the time saved, several times over. Now think about freeing up your time, your C-staff’s time, your admin’s time, your employees time.
So, why are you not finding ways to automate? And please don’t tell me it’s because you don’t have time!
“The key is in not spending time, but investing it.” —Stephen Covey