Protecting your valuable time

In Part 1 of our “Lead Yourself” series, we took a sobering look at The Value of Your Time and determined an equivalent rate of $812 per hour. In Part 2, we discovered the best ways to invest our time by identifying our own High Leverage Zone. Today, we want to look at how to protect your time against the demands of others.   

I have discovered that the best way to protect my own time was through the development of my Optimal Week calendar, which forced me to create a time budget – outlining exactly how my time is to be invested each week. I have found this approach to be essential for three reasons:

  1. Habit: Automates the investment of time each day.
  2. Focus: Eliminates decision fatigue by setting a concrete target for time investment so you can focus your best mental energy and creativity on the future of your business.
  3. Accountability: You will share your Optimal Week calendar with your team so that they will enforce your limited availability – while developing a clarity about how you are investing your time.

It is important to remember that your Optimal Week calendar is a guide. Of course, as a business owner, you know that unexpected circumstances will require your attention, and it will be periodically necessary to deviate from your optimal week. That is okay. My own personal target is for a 75% adherence to my Optimal Week calendar.  

Pro Tip:  As the owner and leader of your practice, you should set up your Optimal Week calendar first. Then, have your leadership team create theirs. I encourage you to take one day each week free from the demands of meetings and calls so that you can focus exclusively on work that will advance the achievement of your highest priority goals. This approach works best if your whole team has the same no-meeting day each week. 

Remember: Progress over perfection. I review my Optimal Week calendar at least once every quarter to determine what is working, and to identify where adjustments should be made. 

Grateful to be on this journey with you,

Dr. Matthew Harkness

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