Highest and Best Use of Your Time

Everyone I speak with these days, tells me how busy they are. The pressures of work, family, volunteer activities and other responsibilities have many people I know stretched thin. I can certainly relate! It feels like there’s never enough time to get things done, and I’m constantly juggling too many things to do in not enough time. It leaves me feeling worried I’m not doing a good job or maybe disappointing people I care about.

One of my mentors recently asked if I was focused on my HABU? Of course I needed an explanation. He translated that to the “highest and best use” of my time.  He wanted to know if everything I spent time on, was the highest and best use of the time available. That question seemed logical. Now I have begun looking at how I spend my time with family, work and on other commitments. These are the 2 main points I had to consider.

1. Does my calendar align with my goals and priorities?

A good way to tell if this is true is to glance through your calendar of commitments. How many are family-related? How many are work-related? How many are for or with other activities, groups, organizations, or people? Is one or more of these consuming more of your time then you, your family or business partners would like? If the answer is yes, then maybe it’s time to re-align your commitments and adjust them to more of your higher priorities.

2. What is it that only I can do?

Within Howard Tech, this has given me some direction and clarity on things I take on versus those that I could delegate to others. Another way I’m considering HABU is to ask myself “is there anyone else that can do this task besides me?” If the answer is “yes,” then I need to let that thing go to focus on those things that only I can accomplish. Patrick and I have organized the company such that the technical staff report to him, and the operations team is my responsibility. As we continue to grow, we’re intentionally adding team members or outsourcing functions that others might do better, faster or more strategically than we can.

I own Howard Tech’s new business development activities, as that’s a natural alignment with my skills and experience.  I actively contribute to service, marketing, HR, finance, and other critical areas of the company, but these are led by someone else.  This level of clarity has helped me focus on my highest and best use of time or HABU. I’m trying to implement similar logic in other areas of my life as well.

What About You?

Are you operating in your sweet spot? Are you doing tasks at the office that someone else can accomplish? What are your unique gifts that no one else on your team can do? What tasks can you delegate or outsource so to give you extra margin to focus on your special talents?


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