By Mike Myatt, Chief StrategyOfficer, N2growthDon't waste Time...Time; it's the most valuable commodity we have, it'sthe only thing we all have in common, yet it's how we choose tospend it that defines and differentiates us as individuals. Eventhough time is a key success metric, I am always amazed at howmany executives don't manage it as such. Time is indeed aprecious and finite commodity, and those professionals thatmanage it wisely are those that achieve the greatest results. Showme an executive that doesn't leverage time to its highest and bestuse and I'll show you an executive likely to be replacedby one that can. In this week's column I'll examine the valueof time.The proper understanding of how to use time directlyimpacts income. You see, time doesn't slow, nor can it beaccelerated or recovered; it can only be wasted, invested, orleveraged. I often hear people espouse the axiom "don't workhard, work smart." I have a bit of a different take on the subjectas I work very hard at working intelligently. It was coming toan understanding of these fundamental principles at an earlyage that have made a tremendous difference in my life ascontrasted with many others I've encountered along the way.Whetheryou are a sales person, professional advisor, entrepreneur, orexecutive, you only have 24 hours in a day, which consistsof 1440 minutes, and when reduced to the ridiculousamounts to 86,400 seconds. If you want to do more, earn more,serve more, influence more, or significantly change thelevel of your impact in any area, you simply must make moreout of the time you have at your disposal. So, my question isthis...How well do you leverage your 86,400 seconds?Have you everheard someone say they wish there was more time in a day? WhileI've already pointed out that you cannot increase the amountof time in a day, I've also said that time can in fact beleveraged if you know how. Some people use only a portion of afull day, while others leverage the entire day, and those who aremost productive leverage multiples of a day...Multiples of a dayyou ask? In my world there are far more than 24 hours in aday...Through making good use of personal time, leveraging staffand technology, outsourcing across different time zones,associating with quality people and organizations, managingrisk, and having a laser like focus on highest and bestuse principles, I estimate that I'm able to averagenearly a full week's work into a single 24 hour period while rarelyworking more than an average work week on a personal basis.Leveraging time is all about making good choices...are you makinggood choices?The first step in making the most out of your timebegins with the understanding that time itself is a key successmetric. You can either leverage your time, or waste yourtime. Once you learn how to invest your time wisely, you canthen get to a point where you can start to leverage your time intomultiples. The first step in making this transition is to maximizepersonal time by avoiding the most common workplace time-wasters.According to most of the research I've read, the following itemsrepresent the top 10 corporate time-wasters:

  1. A lack of focus and shifting priorities;
  2. Technology (phone, email, IM, social media, etc.)interruptions;
  3. Lack of planning;
  4. Biting-off more than you can chew (initiative overload);
  5. Drop-in visitors;
  6. Ineffective delegation;
  7. Lack of organizational skills;
  8. Procrastination;
  9. Inability to say "No", and;
  10. Unproductive meetings.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.