The one thing none of us can get more of: TIME.
There are only 24 hours in a day, 168 in a week, etc., and anyone reading this already understands the inherent value of their time as a creator of value.
But as a founder, we’re often the least respectful of our own time. Being guilty of prioritizing others’ time above my own, I have very often been the one left with the shit schedule.
This was especially true while living in France. I would go to 8 or 9 o’clock at night in meetings…multiple days a week. Just unsustainable on so many levels.
The result of an undisciplined calendar like this was too many calls in a day, not enough time for critical thinking or real communication with our team (or industry partners), and just a bunch of junk filling up my schedule.
I was on a call with a friend last week and they were telling me about how they implemented Focus and Buffer days, and it was a game changer for their work life.
So, I checked it out and turns out this has been written about extensively by someone I have tons of respect for, Dan Sullivan, author of one of my favorite business books “Who Not How“.
The premise is simple (and just as simple to implement):
Block out days that are meant ONLY for meetings and the general running of the business
Block out other days that are meant ONLY for you to do individual contributor level work.
The nice thing about this is it also works perfectly with one thing that has been plaguing me lately: feeling like I’m just not productive at work.
Sad to say, but a lot of days I look back at my day and ask myself “What did I accomplish today”…and too often the answer is “not a whole lot that really makes a difference”.
I believe this is because I jumble together brief spurts in my day of Individual Contributor work with the interspersed time in meetings, on calls, and otherwise just running the business.
So, starting the new year I’m blocking off the entirety of every Tuesday and Friday with zero calls, I’ll do almost zero email, and I’ll work exclusively on sales and marketing.
That’s my individual contributor level area of focus these days, and so I’ll be writing emails, prepping blog content, working on shipping marketing projects, polishing up sales copy, and doing very actionable things to grow the business.
This leaves the remaining 3 days of the week (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday) for internal meetings, podcasting, calls with partners, and all the other million random things that we as founders manage.
I’m excited to see how this works out in practice.
On the surface, it seems easily achievable, with almost zero work to maintain (just adjust my SavvyCal availability), and ought to provide a ton of benefit towards my contribution to the growth of Castos.
Being the new year, a time when we’re all rearing to go, I’m naturally excited about this change. Good time management is one of those repeating patterns of highly effective founders. They are rarely overwhelmed by things going on around them, and it’s because they are protective of, and intentional with, their time.
I will report back in a few months once I’ve gotten several rounds of the schedule under my belt.