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The Leader’s Log: How Do You Spend Your Time?

We’re all familiar with the idea of a captain’s log. The captain of a ship keeps detailed records of the tasks carried about by the crew in case there is any information that later needs to be retrieved. The log is the captain’s legacy—it serves as the story of his ship. In leadership, we keep a log too. Even if we don’t actually write anything down, the ticking clock writes the story of how we’ve led. How we spend our time, for better or for worse, is our leader’s log.

Here’s the important thing to remember: we all have the same twenty-four hours, one thousand four hundred and forty minutes, and eighty-six thousand four hundred seconds in a day. What sets us apart is how we use that time. This reality is like getting a huge deposit of money every day that must be spent by the day’s end. Two different people getting the same amount of money can come away with very different outcomes by the way they’ve spent it.

So, how can you make sure that you are making the most of the time you have? First, you’ve got to stop seeing yourself as a prisoner to time. No one can make you do anything without your consent. Manage your time–don’t let it manage you. Don’t tell yourself that you have to do x, y, or z; tell yourself that you’ve chosen to do those things. Once you take responsibility for your time, you can then work on investing it more wisely.