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Do You Need Office “ME” Time?

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Editor’s Note: Jim Cucinotta is a very senior executive, with over 20+ years of experience in leading sales, marketing, and operations teams.  He is also an author on Flevy.  You can view his firm’s business training guides here.

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yoga-160276_960_720Being a leader is hard work.  Everyone expects you to be “ON” every moment of every day.  You are pulled in a million different directions and normally you handle this with aplomb.  But today is different, you don’t feel like being a leader.  You want to close your office door and get some YOUR work done.  You do not want to deal with Whiny Winnie, Need Ned, and the rest of your team.

Does this sound familiar?  You are not the first nor last leader who needs an office “ME” day.  In fact many leadership experts point to how you manage your calendar as one of the truest forms of leadership.  Blocking off “ME” time each week is an important habit that you need to start today and make it a weekly or daihabit.

So how do you start this “ME” time when you are so busy and everyone is so needy?  Find a natural time in your work schedule when people do not want to be bothered.  This typically falls early Monday morning between 8 am – 11 am or after 2 pm on Fridays.    People tend to be distracted at these times- discussing weekend events or plans.  I tend to use the first and last hours of my day, no one wants to talk to me at 7 am or at 5 pm.  Block your preferred times as busy right now.

How do you prepare for your “ME” time?  Turn off your cell phone, send your office phone to VM, close your door, and put headphones on if you are in an open floor plan.  Make every visible clue that you are working on something every important.  Because you are.

What do you do during “ME” time?  If you look at your day, it is typically spent in three phases- tasks, projects, planning.  If you are like most leaders, you spend all day on projects and ignore the other two.  So clear all of your tasks first.  A task is anything that can be done quickly.  Read and respond to emails.  Send meeting invitations.  Run/read simple reports.  Take care of all of the little things you never get to.  But cap it at an hour.  If you are using my method, use thirty minutes of each hour.

What do you do during the rest of the time?  Planning.  The key to success is a good plan.  Take this time to create your team and personal short and mid-term goals.  Devise the correct strategies to achieve those plans.  Set up the meetings to explain and implement those plans.  Monitor the performance of plans already in action (projects in above example).  If you still have time, dream about your team’s stretch goals.

But working your “ME” time into your schedule, you will be amazed at how you will achieve better results and be more in tune with your team.  You will have more energy.  You will be more focused.  And you will get better results.

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About Jim Cucinotta

Jim Cucinotta is a co-founder of Halo Health, a marketing company focused on Digital Patient Education. Jim has over 20 years experience in leading sales, marketing, and operations teams. He has managed thousands of employees over his career and has worked on over 1,000 products that have made it to the retail shelves. He is also an author on Flevy (view his documents here)

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