Earlier in the week, Steve Ballmer gave a speech to students at the Saïd Business School in Oxford, UK. There was a lot to take away from what the former Microsoft CEO had to say, but one thing was particularly interesting — the method he revealed he used to help organize his life. So what does a high-powered businessman use to keep his time in check?
Your thoughts might immediately jump to Outlook — Microsoft’s PIM/email client has a superb calendar and task management option built in, after all — but this is not Ballmer’s solution. Instead, he chose to use a spreadsheet. He did not specify whether Excel was his chosen spreadsheet, but it’s probably a fairly safe assumption to make!
He viewed his time in the way most people view their money: “I kept a spreadsheet, a budget, of my time. How many nights am I going to travel? Be away from family? How do I allocate the time I have left?”
From Steve Ballmer’s experience, it may not necessary be the best option. In spite of spending the time creating a spreadsheet to help allocate his time he still ended up feeling that he could have done a better job.
But time is an increasingly valuable commodity and we all need to maximize what we can do with what little we have available. What tools do you use to keep your life in order? Are you an Outlook user or do you use something different? Is a spreadsheet your weapon of choice?