The infinite job!

As a business leader, you have an infinite job. Even if you were ever on top of all your task and responsibilities, you should be looking out for more opportunities. It can be stressful.  

The key is to use some simple approaches, trust your subconscious instincts for time management and focus on taking the first actionable step. Even if it is a small step, it is progress and will help you to feel better.

TO DO – Eat that frog and other things

One of the biggest challenges a good Managing Director has is finding the time to do everything. It’s certainly something I wrestle with.  And for many years I couldn’t understand why.  But now I think I’ve evolved a reasonably efficient and effective approach.  And I share it with readers in the hope it helps you refine your own working methods.

My first challenge was that I never seemed to get to the bottom of my TO DO list!

I got to be a Managing Director because I’m very efficient and very focused I said to myself.  I prioritise well (I think) and yet I never seem to get everything done.  Which I found frustrating.  And that frustration continued until I had one of those blinding revelation moments.

I realised that there would be an even bigger problem if I ever DID get to the bottom of my TO DO list.

The real job of the Managing Director is to be out and about looking for opportunities – it’s a poor Managing Director that focuses on completing their list.  Implicitly reacting rather than reaching out for opportunities.

Which leads neatly to the next point.  What goes onto your TO DO list.  For me the answer is everything.  Anything I agree to do, and anything I decide I’d like to do gets captured there.  But note that getting onto the list no longer means I’m going to do it.  Simply that I’d like to, and if I had infinite time I would.  But I don’t.  I’m a human with a human life span.

So I probably won’t do most of the things on my list.

So why put them on the list?  Two simple answers. 

Firstly to destress me.  To save me trying to remember all my brilliant ideas.  When I add an item to my TO DO list I know it won’t be forgotten so I no longer need to try to remember it. Quite a relief for a busy Managing Director!  It may never get done, but if it’s important it will – I won’t forget.  

Which fits neatly with the second DE stressor.  By putting an item on my TO DO list I can relax knowing that I will be consciously prioritising and deciding the most important thing to do next. A structured and logical approach to managing my workload.

Top tip

Don’t worry about not completing your TO DO  list.  As a Managing Director your job is to keep identifying opportunities.

The TO DO list is simply a mechanism for capturing all your ideas of things you’d like to do.

PS The reference in the title to eating frogs comes from the excellent book Eat That Frog!: Get More Of The Important Things Done Today by Brian Tracy