As leaders, we motivate team members to grow: we guide and support, we teach rather than preach, and we understand their mindsets as well as areas for improvement. It stands to reason we want our mentees to be successful.
The question is, are we the same?
Leadership is not a gift but a set of skills to acquire. We know that, so we hurry up to craft those skills for better life. We work like beavers, willing to have 48-hour days at hand.
With tons of duties and responsibilities young leaders face in this fast and furious world, we take a lack of time for granted.
I felt that pain, too. Books and courses on time management help a bit, but they would hardly save me from procrastination and chaos if I didn't realize the fact of life:
We should love Time.
I use a capital letter here because I perceive Time as the animate object. He lives his life, struggling with severe monsters for us to lead and succeed; so we should help him: knowing the enemies by sight, we get a chance to control them and save Time for productive work and successful life.
Chronophages, or time eaters, are something/somebody who wastes your time or, figuratively speaking, eats it. In his book An Art of Living, André Maurois cites Henry de Montherlant, describing them as follows:
“It is the duty of the worker to keep clear of time-wasters. They are pitiless. From the man who does not resist them, they will take the last moment of his time without considering that if left alone he might do valuable work. They are unscrupulous. The hardened chronophage will go to the chief of the army general staff the day a war is declared to describe the military situation according to his janitor. Chronophages function by visit, by telephone, and my mail. Kindness and patience with them are grave faults. They must be treated ruthlessly, since accepting them would be suicide.”
The best way to beat chronophages is finding and neutralizing them.
Classical chronophages are indeterminate goals, random approach to work, and bollix. Ineffective meetings are time eaters, too: leaders should know how to organize them for better productivity.
To find your chronophages, start documenting your days. Write down everything to understand what tasks to delegate, what work to postpone, and what tasks to do faster. I do believe that time management is a habit to keep an eye on Time and think how to expand it.
We all are different, and so are our chronophages; and yet, the strongest time eaters are common for Gen Y. When I tried to find my chronophages, the most active one appeared to be my favorite music. It was guilty in my missed departure, meetings with friends, and unexcused tardies.
Oddly enough, my another time eater appeared to be... reading. When a student, books saved me during boring lectures; and now, I had to struggle with them to win some time for sleep. I read until 4 am despite my wake-up time was 7 am; so no wonder I wasn't able to lead successfully, plagiarizing ideas without thinking of consequences instead.
Most of us meet chronophages every day, and the most dangerous of them are:
Here come more time eaters to beat with no mercy. Check if any is yours:
For better leadership, successful work, and happy life, we need to defeat some of the aforementioned chronophages forever, and yet gain over others to use them wisely.
As you know, procrastination isn't that bad and it can work for our benefit when used right. For instance, it boosts imagination, improves memory, encourage strategy generations, and helps us see prospects.
However, efficient leaders don't allow procrastination to gain an advantage of their time. To stay productive, develop your emotional intelligence to understand when time eaters come over you and when you need to concentrate and use your willpower for success.
What are your time eaters? What tricks do you use to manage them?