Warren Buffett taught Bill Gates a simple way to manage time
by Damon Brown / © 2019, Mansueto Ventures, LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The higher up you are on the leadership ladder, the tougher it can be to manage your time. Employees believe there is more freedom at the top. It is the opposite, as the impact of your decisions, and the demands on your time, are exponentially higher.
What Bill learned from Warren
In an [interview] with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Buffett shows his business calendar. It is nearly blank. Gates says this is one of the biggest things he’s learned from Buffett:
“I had every moment, packed thinking that was the only way you could do things. The fact that he is so careful about his time ... he has days there there’s nothing going on.”
“Nothing,” of course, doesn’t mean a Buffett vacation day. It gives him space for thought, for strategy and for flexibility.
[Gates continued,] “There is one big thing you miss in your overscheduled day: opportunity. While it may feel good flitting from one meeting to the next, wiser entrepreneurs actually allow space for the unexpected client, epiphany or pivot. Think of it like leaving room in your coffee mug for cream and sugar: You don’t want to have a completely empty cup, but you do want to provide … space for more.
“And we wonder why we have all these ambitions, yet are in the same place months or even years later. There needs to be room for you to pursue them! How can new avenues be reached if you don’t give yourself space to move forward?”
Understanding the time commitment
Essentialism author Greg McKeown says we tend to underestimate how long something will take to get done—especially when it is an outside request.
It can be tough to say “No,” but it becomes a lot easier when we actually know the commitment required.
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