“Hi Rocky, it was pleasure talking to you on phone this morning. Please send me a calendar invite for the meeting that we agree for next week. Let’s discuss the project report in detail in this meeting.”
How many times do we hear this? We have great tools like Outlook and Google calendars to plan our time well. But do we really do so? Many of us don’t see the power of these great tools. Is it because we are not used to using these tools from our school or college times? Or, is this habit just restricted to high profile corporate leaders?
I definitely don’t see this happening with SME business owners and public sector companies. May be, they think their memory is much superior than the silly computer. May be…
We all know that the good old people used to remember more than 100 phone numbers (I am talking about pre-cellphone era). When they can remember so many numbers, why can’t they remember few meeting dates or activities that are scheduled for that week? May be.
All of us want to be a superman and like to do everything on our own. May be…
I agree that we live in a world where multitasking is the need of the hour, and we generally believe that an average person should be able to do a handful of tasks simultaneously (its becoming more of a norm these days). Hence the person tries to become a Superman! On top of that, the management Gurus say that ‘you need to keep running to stay where you are.’ That’s what most of us do today. Now that we know we are already running, we try to increase the pace, just to lead a slightly better life. Now, this is the trap! You need to understand that however good you may be, you are also increasing the ratio of possible errors by increasing the number of events.
When you got to do, you got to do!
How many events did you miss at your daughter’s school? How many times did you miss an important function at a close relative’s place? Few times for sure? On the contrary, how many times did you skip a customer meeting? Your trainings, workshops? Very few or none. Well, that’s not because you felt your child’s school day function is less important; it’s just that you haven’t planned it well. Even corporate leaders miss this point. They say that they are so busy that they don’t find time to attend such events.
I too learnt it from a great leader to get this right. He makes it to all his kid’s school events and most of the family events. So what’s the secret sauce? Simple, its discipline. Oh Yeah?? How can discipline ever be simple? Well then, the simpler method I found to address this amicably is to maintain and follow a CALENDAR.
Hear me out, I asked this to a few senior people in corporate and this is what they had to say. A Vice President of a MNC said, “I travel quite a bit and I cannot adjust my work time. So I miss few events at my child’s school and my wife does the honours.” candidly. “At times, I try to go but suddenly a meeting would be called and my plan goes hay wire. I would have promised my child that I would not miss this one, but I would have no choice but to skip it.”
All I have to say is, as long as you plan your work meetings well, you will find space to include your personal meetings as well in the same calendar.
You might feel that this is too strict a way to work. Not really. This is just prioritizing and managing your time well. As I always say, ‘time’ is going to be the most precious element of the next decade. Realize that, nobody is a Superman (its just a movie); you can never achieve everything in life. What you can do is make the best use of time that’s available with you, and do everything for the few things that you do.