Axios News has obtained a copy of President Trump’s private schedule and people are shocked to learn that he spends as much as 60% of his time in what his schedule refers to as “Unstructured Executive Time”. While I am in no going to make an endorsement, one way or the other about our President, I will fully endorse the idea of executive time. Here’s why:
It’s Been Proven Effective
There are those quick to bash President Trump because so much unstructured time is thought to be time wasted. If he has time to watch television or read a newspaper, he should be using that time to get something more important accomplished. Those same people probably don’t know that Warren Buffett who is touted by both sides of the political spectrum as a great leader, spends the majority of his time reading. In fact, a recent article from Inc.com declared that he had nothing on his calendar that week except a haircut. Effective CEO’s effective because they use unstructured time to develop and decompress.
We Aren’t Paid For Effort
There’s a huge misconception that leaders must be busy at every moment of every day. This is because, we as a society have confused effort with accomplishment. With all due respect to anyone who believes any President is paid for their time, they aren’t. They’re paid for accomplishment. If you’re able to accomplish big things in a smaller window, shouldn’t you? We as leaders aren’t paid for the time we put in, we’re paid for the results we produce. Accomplishment is much more important than effort.
Leaders Need Space To Think
Ideas and creativity are born out of white space. If we’re shuffling from phone call to phone call or meeting to meeting, there’s no time think and reflect on what’s going well and what we can improve. When we’re in the shit, if you’ll excuse my language, with a full calendar, all of our focus is on getting through it. We can’t schedule great ideas. All leaders need time to ponder, to read and reflect. To learn from others as well as ourselves. If you look at your calendar and find big blocks of white space, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if were using it to develop and grow. If we’re wasting it on social media, that might be another story, but using white space to ponder is where innovation comes from.
It Might Not Be Popular…
As much as it may seem otherwise, this is not a defense of the President. I’ve never gotten political with this blog and I don’t intend to now, but it truly is a defense of executive time. Understanding that the most effective leaders in any given industry use their white space as tool to become better, that we’re not paid for effort but rather for accomplishment and that all leaders need space to think, can make us not only more productive, but more effective as well. Executive time might not be a popular idea in the media today, but great leaders know it’s a big key to getting things done.