Security Business

MAR 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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106 Security Business / / March 2019 Insider Intelligence BY KIM GARCIA Make Time for Strategy Finding time to work on the big-picture goals of the business is part of your responsibility as a leader There is a popular meme online that reads “You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce.” While there is much debate over the validity of that statement (i.e. Beyonce probably doesn’t do her own grocery shopping or have to wait at the service shop for an oil change), it is true that there are limited hours in the day and we all have a choice in how we spend that time, regardless of our lifestyles or luxuries. As business leaders, this time pinch is often felt when it comes to carving out time to work on the business vs. just in the business. Finding time in the day or even the week to step away from the day-to-day tasks to keep customers and employees happy can be difficult. But finding time to work on the big-picture strategy of the business from our own vantage points is not only necessary, it is part of our responsibility as leaders. What can leaders do to make sure they carve out the time to incorporate strategic time in the fury of day-to-day business? Here are two ways: Keep a Journal For one week, document how you spend every 30-minute increment – 15-minute increments are better if you can handle it – in your day from wake to sleep. Do not make any changes to your routine, just write it all down. Did you spend half an hour looking up the Beyonce meme I mentioned, only to find yourself watching videos of puppies roller skating 30 minutes later? Write it down. After one week, evaluate the time journal increments and give each incremental task noted a rating based on how important that task was. Assign it a category, such as meetings, answering emails, employee relations, family time, meals, etc., and whether it was something that someone else could have done rather than you. Once you have categorized your time journal, look at how much time throughout the week was spent on critical tasks that only you could accomplish. Look at how much time your low or mid-rated tasks took up and how many of those could have been handled by someone else. Evaluate the time spent in meetings, answering emails, and so on. Often, seeing the sheer volume of how much time you spend doing certain low-priority tasks – illustrated on paper – is enough to make you realize that those tasks can simply disappear from your week, leaving you the time you need to work on more strategic planning initiatives. Start with 30 Set a 30-minute meeting for yourself at least once a week to work on something not in the weeds of the day-to-day running of the business. Research an industry trend. Set some new goals. Have a call with a mentor. Read an industry trade publication or watch a TED talk on leadership. Do this at least once a week for a month; then, the next month add another session to your week, ideally trying to get to 30 minutes every day of work that supports your responsibility as a leader to provide long-term strategic value to the business. One strategy that works well for many people is the Pomodoro Technique, a time-management method where a person selects a specific task they would like to accomplish, sets a timer for 25 minutes, and during that time, focuses (uninterrupted) on that single task, followed by a short five-minute break. A true Pomodoro cycle consists of four sets of 30-minute increments followed by a longer break of 20-30 minutes, but this can be a great method to get started on the habit of spending that time each week. ■ » Kim Garcia is Director of Marketing for PSA Security Network. To request more info about PSA, please visit Often the sheer volume of how much time you spend doing certain low-priority tasks is enough to make you realize that those tasks can simply disappear from your week – leaving you the time you need to work on more strategic planning."

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