In Marissa Mayer’s world, time management is everything
Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, has three main priorities in her life: Yahoo, her family, and various unavoidable engagements thanks to her professional position. She is clear about her priorities and does not shy away from the fact that her daily life is a lot more hectic than the average person. With her trademark honesty, Mayer lays bare the various aspects of time management which work, and sometimes do not work for her, and brings in some of her own strategies and suggestions to combat slacking off or the missing of important deadlines. There is much to learn from her refreshingly candid accounts of how she manages her time, and sometimes has to take unconventional measures in order to keep up with her grueling schedule. To begin with, the 38-year old Mayer is a mother and wife. This indicates the need for her time management efforts to factor in the needs of her husband and young child, who demand her attention. She prefers scheduling dedicated vacations with her husband during which there is no distraction, and has set up a secure crèche within her office in order to be able to take her child with her. The latter decision has ruffled a few feathers, however, Mayer has stuck to her decision of managing time at work with time with her child. Credited with being able to lead “an extraordinary, multi-dimensional life” by Salesforce.com CEO, Marc Benioff, slacking off is not an option for Mayer, even on days when she is under the weather or simply not in the mood to push herself very hard. She has stated that she has “zero time” to herself, and is constantly rushing around the world for meetings and conferences. She has changed clothes in the backseat of a car, has skipped meals because she simply does not have time to eat, and ensures that every item on her to-do list is addressed on time. Her list too, is organized in order to maximize the potential of her day; she advises against bunching activities together randomly and without order. Instead, she organizes her activities by label, from “most important” to “least important”, and follows the natural order of taking care of the most important activities at the very beginning of her day. She has laughed about not being able to achieve the “least important” activities on her list, stating, “I celebrate the fact that I’d never get to the bottom of it, because if I did, I would have spent a bunch of time doing relatively unimportant things”. What is impressive about Mayer’s style of no-nonsense time management is that it enables her to prioritize. Very often one is so caught up in taking care of a task, which is not as urgent to complete as another one; one of the things potential entrepreneurs could gauge from Mayer’s time management strategy is the importance of finishing important tasks first, ideally at the beginning of the day when they have the most energy and are alert. Considering her qualifications and high rate of success, one would do well to take a few time management tips from Marissa Mayer.