Leaders are constantly looking for tips and tricks to help them make better use of their time—but what if I told you I knew about a true time management superpower? And what if I could impart that superpower to you?
Using Your Found Time
The superpower I’m talking about is all about redeeming your found time. Maybe you know what I mean: Those little pockets of down time you have throughout your day. Maybe you have a few hour-long meetings scheduled, back-to-back-to-back, and end up with 10 minutes to kill between them. Or maybe you finish a big project five minutes before you typically leave for lunch, and need a quick task you can do in the interim.
We all have those little pockets of found time—and great time managers are able to use them advantageously. The question is how.
What to Do with Those Extra Moments
I’ll let you in on my approach to using found time.
- First, it’s important to keep a rolling inventory of all the little things you need to do—emails or voicemails you need to address, a company LinkedIn post you wanted to draft, or similarly minor tasks. Have this inventory available at all times so that, when you do have 10 minutes to burn, you can immediately find a way to fill them.
- At the start of each day, review your inventory of tasks and highlight four to six of them that are especially urgent. Make those your mini-goals for the day—your top priorities for any found time you have.
- Stop thinking about these little pockets of time as inconsequential. Using five minutes here and five minutes there can help you get some major work done, and thus free you to be more focused and engaged on the big projects that are on your schedule.
One more thing I’ll add: Don’t be afraid to use some of this time for your mental health, as needed. That’s a form of productivity, too. If you’re exhausted or need to clear your head, use those extra five minutes for a quick, head-clearing stroll around the office.
Making use of your found time really can be a time management superpower, so keep these tips in mind. And if you have any more time management needs you’d like to discuss with me, I’m always here. Reach out at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.