I was watching "SportsCenter" this morning on ESPN and heard Mike Golic, Sr. say, in reference to performance ability of athletes, "The best ability is availability." His point was all the skills in the world don't help, if you are injured or otherwise unable to be on the playing field.
I thought about this, and considered his words (or the words of whomever he used) to be profound. The statement so clearly defined what I tried to write in Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! about managing our time utilizing calendars.
Excerpted form the book:
In my calendar, every morning from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., I block a personal appointment called “Administrative Time.” That is my time. It is the time I use to reply to emails and voicemails and to perform any administrative tasks scheduled for the day. It is the time I use to accomplish technical thought tasks when I am fresh and energetic. If I choose, I can invite someone into that time if they are available (see Tuesday’s schedule below), but they cannot invite themselves.
A focused two-hour effort in the morning creates efficiencies for me that allow me to accomplish more, sequentially, than I do for the remainder of the day when the war waged against multi-tasking demands set in. If necessary, in any given week or month, I block “Administrative Time” again in the hour after lunch for mid-day replies and responses and in a short period in my final hour at work. Staff members become attuned to this cadence in my schedule and they seek and find availability for our meetings.
The rewards of time blocking come only from being disciplined enough to get your work done during that time. It is not “free time.” It is focused energy time. Prioritizing efforts and making firm progress towards completion of those efforts during this time is a win for everyone on the team.
One certainty with respect to time is that it is finite. It is finite for us and for everyone we work with. Managing time well to allow for completion of our tasks AND to be available to those who surround us is a must.