Making Time for the Unknown
Posted by: Alec Hartman
The term "making time" is a bit silly isn't it? We can't exactly fabricate time out of nowhere. We can't control time at all actually - it's going to move forward at the same pace no matter what!
So, what should we fill our precious time with? For an entrepreneur who lives and dies by the success of their company, one could argue that time is best taken by things that could contribute to our overall growth.. But how do we identify those things and "make time" for them without knowing what they are?
I've heard entrepreneurs over the years say "we need to stop wasting time and start just focusing on x" whereby x could be design, development, sales, etc. In the moment this seems like an amazing idea! Trim the fat and zero in on what makes us the best!
While I definitely believe that narrowing focus is great within employee segments it's not sustainable for leadership nor a company as a whole. A CEO specifically is tasked with charting the course by which the company will travel. Since no two corporate voyages are exactly the same, charting a course absolutely must include exploratory meetings to get a sense for making directional decisions.. Among the hundreds of other big and little tasks that you must do every day.
So, how do we do it - how do we "make time" for the unknown? Where does it fit within our priority hierarchy? How do we even going about finding what we don't know?!
The best way I've found to vacation in the land of the unknown is to take meetings where I don't know the purpose of the meeting or where I don't have a goal. Having a meeting to really meet someone, learn what their passionate about, learn how you can help always helps me uncover things about my own business that I could do better or differently.
Ultimately having some of these 'uncharted' meetings has led me in great directions - at Devshop our whole weekly class system is borrowed from a teacher and bio-psyc student I met with who enlightened me about how people learn new things the best. Our entire 3-step interview process was taken from an elderly doctor who told me he always needs three sessions to get to know his patients...
My point in sharing all of this experiential knowledge is to show how what I've learned helps me manufacture time through efficiencies. I hire 20% slower than most but I have a fraction of the turnover. I take time to teach, and less to fix problems.