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County Lifestyle and Leisure Magazine

Looking to be a better leader? It’s about time!

Paul Holbrook in action with Diary Detox

Looking to be a better leader? It’s about time!

Paul Holbrook is on a one-man mission to empower managers to take back control of their time with his simple Diary Detox®.

It’s no secret that many leaders are starved for time.

When stepping up to the next rung of the corporate ladder, it’s generally assumed that more time needs to be sacrificed – that only by surrendering extra hours and working longer days can you finally become a leader.  But, as Paul Holbrook reveals, ‘it simply isn’t true’.

During his 20-year career in the City of London, he realised early on that as a manager, his job was all about making it as simple as possible for others to do theirs, helping them to become better. However, he noticed that many of his peers seemed to treat management as a side-task, something to consider when not engaged in ‘real work’.

As he walked down Bishopsgate one Monday morning, Paul saw how unhappy everyone looked. It was then that the realisation struck him – managers need to implement change to develop productive behaviours that don’t just save time, but also save money.

“Many managers spend their days busy, but busy doing what? Look through the diary of any manager and you’ll find meeting after meeting. But question why they need to go, and many will struggle to come up with the answer,” Paul Holbrook, Founder of Diary Detox, explains.

Paul Holbrook

Paul Holbrook

“Managers simply spend too much time in pointless meetings, being interrupted and taking on tasks that should sit with their people. And, because they do, they’re left with a time deficit leaving little in the tank to lead their teams.”

Concluding, Paul says; “Many managers are mimicking every boss they ever had and are acting-out their own experience of being managed. Companies do try to help, either by sending managers on a leadership course or trying to find new ways to work. But with everything else that’s already on their plate they simply don’t have the time to use what they’ve learned.”

Paul’s Diary Detox has a simple approach. The first step is to look at the contents of your diary and take out everything that doesn’t actually need to be there. A colour coding method is used to turn your own diary into a heatmap, showcasing how the different activities scheduled in are really affecting your world.

“By using these colours, it’s easy to see the value of your time. You can use your diary to see how much time you spend doing productive things, how much time doing tasks that should be done by someone else and, ultimately, how much time you spend leading,” explains Paul.

“It may sound obvious, but many managers don’t seem to realise what is going on under their nose during their workday. Instead, they go where their diary tells them, defaulting to what they have always done. This first step turns your diary into a mirror where you realise, often for the first time, the changes you need to make.”

The next step is to consider what you should be doing.

“The key is to gain a healthy balance between the colours. As a manager, you’ll inevitably face curveballs every day, but it’s just not reasonable to turn down a request for your time simply on the basis that you’re too busy.” Paul continues:

“We’re all busy, but, by understanding the value of what’s filling your diary, you’ll be able to take a closer look at whether you need to put more effort into leading, managing or doing.”

“When it comes to taking control of your time, the most important step is to know what you’re actually doing. By acknowledging the habits that add little or no value, you’ll be able to spot the ones that you need to break. Those are the habits that will free up time for you and your team.”

Paul adds; “The remaining steps of the Diary Detox help you plan your coming week in advance – before you leave for the weekend. Having that peace of mind helps to ensure you get the most from your downtime and return raring to go on Monday!”

The Diary Detox is a simple methodology that Paul Holbrook delivers to entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers – and everyone in between – to help them work productively and improve their leadership. It’s simple and is delivered in a few hours.

The results of the Diary Detox so far, show that managers lose up to 20% of their time. That’s a day every week! When you tally that up over an entire year, and with more and more companies experimenting with the four-day-week, that’s a figure that you can no longer afford to ignore.

For more information about Paul Holbrook and the Diary Detox, visit: http://diarydetox.com.

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