One of the key takeaways from last week’s course is that in order introduce new leadership routines or practices, you first must “get your house in order,” specifically with how your day - and each hour within - is managed. There is no single correct procedure for this because people have different preferences, different contexts, and so on. Regardless of those differences, there is at least one thing in common: it is better to be in control of your schedule as opposed to other people’s schedules controlling you. In a leadership position, there are always moments you have to react - or stop what you are doing - or get interrupted. I believe that effective leaders organize themselves so that their calendar - or their system - allows for such interruptions without derailing the entire flow. Here is a break down of my system.
First, here are the platforms and tools that are usually lead to something getting onto my schedule:
My company uses Google Apps, whose system of labels allows a message to be put into more than one category. This was not possible previously (at least to my knowledge) without making a duplicate so that you can put the same message in multiple folders. While Gmail’s web client honors the label view, MacOs Mail displays the labels as folders, and from this client you cannot add a message to multiple folders (at least I don’t know how). Anyways, I still like using this client because it is its own window, with its own badge notifications on my taskbar, and its own sound notification for new messages.
For any message that is in or comes into my Inbox, I have 4 possible moves after looking over it
This 30 minute thing is important . Basically - it might only take me 10 minutes to address it quickly - but I don’t want to take those 10 minutes right now (I’d rather go through and process whatever is left in my inbox). In that 30 minute block later today, or the next day, or next week - I’ll have created 20 minutes of unstructured time. I’ll get into how to use and combine unstructured time next week (or whenever I next write about this).