How and where you spend your time sends a direct non-verbal message about what’s important to you and what your brand is all about. Have you ever heard of the phrase “walk the talk?” People believe what they see, not necessarily just what you tell them.
For example: If you say that spending time with customers is your most important priority and core to who you are and what your brand is all about – yet you spend all of your time in internal meetings and making process improvements, what are others likely to believe?
I urge my branding clients to analyze how they spend their time to make sure that it is working hard to build their personal brands.
- First, how do you spend your time today? Take a step back and keep track of the meetings you attend, how much time you spend answering emails, the work that keeps you occupied, the individuals and groups you meet with.Now compare these time commitments to your value proposition and the brand you want to build. Ask yourself: Where I am consistent? Where am I inconsistent? Where do I have gaps? What big or small observations do I have about where I spend my time?
- Second, how much time are you spending on emergencies, urgencies, and fire drills that distract you from building your brand? Unless you are a crisis manager, the goal is to be intentional about how much time you spend proactively building your brand versus reacting to crisis and executing work that just has to get done. For a week, keep track of how you spend your time. Do you have the right balance?
- Finally, what are the activities, meetings, events and other tasks that are important to building your brand? Make a list of the activities that you think you should be taking part in so that you can build your brand. Are there key events? Meetings that you cannot miss? Time spent reading or analyzing material? So for example: If you are a technology thought leader, how much time are you dedicating to sharing your knowledge on social media?
Ultimately, your time is a precious commodity and critical for you to manage. You can influence your circumstances even though they may not actually be within your control.
Increasing your skill with time management, minimizing distractions, being proactive, and bringing value wherever you show up will all contribute to your brand.