We’ve all had it - that moment when, in your impatience, you get too many things going over the Wifi and everything slows to a crawl. When that happens to me, I picture several large people all trying to push through a doorway simultaneously. That’s a good mental picture of what’s happening with my data stream.
Just like the Internet, leaders have only so much bandwidth. Just like the Internet, available bandwidth might depend on contextual factors. For that reason, you need to be selective in how you task your bandwidth.
There are some things only you can do. There are some things others could do, but you should. Those two kinds of things should get your first and best time and energy.
Then there are those things that anyone could do but you maybe like to do. Beware of those; they’ll suck your time away in a hurry. They’re the work equivalent of Twitter. And finally, there are things that you want to poke your nose into that really aren’t your job. Those not only waste your time, but damage your relationships as well.
My rule of thumb: I plan only for the first two, the things only I can do or the things that I should do instead of someone else. The other stuff will clamor for my attention, and get it if I don’t already have my time planned around the good stuff.