I watched an interview a long while back where Bill Gates talked about what he learned from Warren Buffett in regards to time management. When Gates was still learning the ropes of leading, he took pride in scheduling every single minute in his calendar. It was packed, and he carried his busy-ness like a badge of honor. If I’m being honest, this is generally how I use my calendar. Can anyone relate?
Buffett, on the other hand, gave Gates a hard time about this because he was slow to learn about problems using this chaotic structure, and you can’t lead in this way. To prove their polar opposite habits, they opened up Buffett’s paper calendar during the interview. For that particular week, Buffett had only one appointment, and there were days and days left in the month with absolutely nothing scheduled in it, and it wasn’t vacation.
Buffet went on to explain that when a CEO packs every minute of their calendar, they leave no room for the very thing they need to be doing: thinking.
How is a leader suppose to strategize and solve problems successfully if they don’t give themselves space to think, to reflect, to plan? People wanting your time comes in endless supply, but you are in control of how you use your time. Buffett emphasizes that while he has lots of money, he still cannot buy himself more time.
The next time your day is booked with meetings, calls, and emails, ask yourself if they are really worth attending to? Or, perhaps, would it be better to utilize that time strategizing, planning, and leading with 100% focus and commitment—To truly be trying to solve problems in the trenches that lead to long-term benefits.
There are no excuses, just choices.