What are some ways to tackle the lack of time problem?

There are many things that I am unable to prioritize high or make time for anymore. One of those things is taking time to make serendipity happen. Just random, chance meetings. Those happen, only face-to-face.

I tried dialing back in 2012, only to fail miserably.

The problem is like most other folks, I am unable to say no.

That leaves me with very little time for things that are absolutely important and I end up shortchanging those the most.

The last year in particular I have worked – attended meetings, spoken at events and hosted events on 23 of my 52 Saturdays. 

I dont like that at all since it takes time away from me spending time with my kids and family.

I have a new project with my daughter for the last 2 weeks that we are working on which should take us 30+ weekends. My son’s cricket sessions need me to be there at least 1 day a week to catch up with the coach. Finally my youngest daughters need more time to just hang out with me. I have also committed to mentor 3 folks who I work with closely.

So I unfortunately have no time for new projects or mentoring new entrepreneurs at all. I apologize.

I love helping new entrepreneurs a lot. I enjoy my interactions. I cant make time.

So I am going to try and not be at any new startup events unless we have them at our office for this quarter. Let me see how that goes. I have one commitment to meet folks in Delhi on Feb 22nd.

I have a question:

Is it okay for me to ask folks to reduce the time they can meet me and talk about their product / company to just the time of the event? I wont be able to give a lot of time, even at the event, but that’s a choice I am making.

Is that being too selfish?

5 thoughts on “What are some ways to tackle the lack of time problem?”

  1. 🙂

    No easy answers here. For the product folks, who are looking to your guidance, my sense is that it is not so much about the physical interaction than their comfort that they have been listened to. Occasional or pre-planned online hangouts could help you optimize.

    As regards the kids… can you share more details how are you managing all of that, would like to learn.

  2. Its okay.
    You should say the no clearly and unambiguously though.
    Those who really value your feedback with follow up persistently and you can call them at your office.

    Another suggestion is to get a friend or two along, and have an entrepreneurs only meetup over beer/cofee (if its your office) on a working day. Once a fortnight or month will do. I can set this up for you 🙂

    You can then ask all these folks to come meet you then.
    Since you’d get to catch up with a couple of other friends for dinner (post event) it would be even more rewarding an experience!

  3. Mukund – Thanks for your candid post. All of us struggle with this issue. It is very admirable that you are working so hard to make an impact on the startup scene in India as well as be there for your family.

    Here’s something to think about: I mentor many MBA students looking to start a company. I meet with them once and only once – so I have a face to go with the name. Plus, I gauge their drive, enthusiasm, and overall personality during that meeting. All other mentoring sessions are done over the phone. This saves me a ton of time. I usually call them on my 2 hour drives from Sacramento to the SF Bay Area.

    My second advise is something I got from Lou Gerstner of IBM. At a World Business Forum conference, he mentioned that he shifts his work hours during the weekend to squeeze in a bit of productivity. He wakes up at 5:30am every single weekend (sigh!) knowing that his family wakes up a good 2-3 hours later. He squeezes in 6 hours of productive work, and his family does not even know about it!

  4. Clearly you have a lot on your plate Mukund, and this post indicates the sincerity with which you want to balance things out.

    Even if you spend 24 hours with new start-ups/entrepreneurs, there will be more who need your attention…the point is that there is no end to work and balance in terms of spending time with family and on their interests is must in my limited experience seeing others. I am not married but I can understand and admire how you are managing all of it.

    Also I second with Vikram on getting up at 5-5:30 and packing in a good 1-2 hours of quality work depending on when the day starts in your house. Infact this getting up at 5-5:30 is a trend which many are trying to follow to manage their lives and be more productive. It may be hard but trade off may seem to make it worth while.

    Good luck and keep rocking!

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