Usually when a company is hovering between 50-100 people there is an inflection point where most people in the company just need more time, more staff, more resources.
As leaders of your orgs, you experience these inflection points oftentimes before others on your team are aware of them.
Zoom out and get organized around what matters most.
This leads me to my first principal of time management:
#1 Principal: What do you need vs What other people need - The TACTICAL
Open up your calendar and look at your week:
How many meetings are there that you need to get your job done vs what others need from you?
Do you have a strategic list you created at the beginning of the week of the 3 most important things you need to accomplish this week to push the ball forward?
Do a Calendar Audit:
Actually calculate the hours you spend with your team, on specific topics, on recruiting, etc. This gives you a really good sense of how you spend your time and helps you reframe how you want to spend your time.
CALENDAR Planning Exercise
: (this should only take 45 minutes)
Write out who your all stars are (these are ppl you need to spend time with weekly)
Write out your priorities
Think of the information you need on a weekly basis to do your job more effectively and create a metrics meeting around it.
Write out your quarterly or monthly goals/priorities that you need to focus more time around:
Hiring a PM
Rollout of a new sales initiative
Set up the framework for the reorg you want to do next month
Block DNS time to work on these goals! Do not do email during that time.
#2 Principal: Meetings don’t Equal Results - What information do you need? - The STRATEGIC
The Metrics Meeting
Most critical information you want to keep in front of you on a weekly basis so you can see patterns, trends, progress.
Identify those items and have the stakeholders accountable present on a weekly basis in a metrics meeting.
You can also have this built as a dashboard that you review in a staff meeting.
High leveraged staff meeting:
1) Set context so people understand how what they are doing fits into the bigger picture of building the company
2) Get your team talking through issues at the table, not behind closed doors:
Populate that over a slack channel or in a highs & lows spreadsheet
3) Set next steps and owners
Have an all stars meeting - this is 2-3 people that work together on your team to push things forward - they are givers not takers and you want to stay close to.
1:1’s are very time consuming and yield low results HOWEVER they are critical for developing your team and creating low churn
Career development conversations
Sprints on 1 topic over 2-3 1:1s
Brainstorms not updates
Ask for agenda ahead of time
#3 Principal: DNS is Crack - Finding Deep Work
What is DNS Time? DNS is Do Not Schedule time and the more you get it the more you will want it.
This is not time to cover email and a laundry list of tactical items because you love to cross out to do’s.
This is a time for you to go to a master list of priorities you have set for the Week/Month/Quarter and start chipping away taking the first steps towards accomplishing those goals.
This is a hell of a lot easier when you can partner with an EA to get this done. If you don’t have an EA, you have to remain disciplined to carve out time to get yourself organized.
It can look like this:
Sunday night is usually a good time to look ahead at your week and see how horribly screwed you are OR you have taken my time management course and have already carved out 90 minutes a day for DNS time.
What will you fill that time with?
Write that list of big rocks that need to get done and start chipping away at them over the week.
All you need to do is write down 3 things you need to accomplish this week that will actually help you achieve or get closer to completing a quarterly goal.
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