As the CEO of Australian accounting software house MYOB and the father of young children, Tim Reed spends many of his mornings and evenings in flight.
Reed was appointed CEO in 2008, after joining the firm through its acquisition of Solution 6 in 2004.
He directly manages 8 people but is responsible for about 860 MYOB employees. Time management, he says, is all about having clear priorities, and leaving decisions in the right hands.
Here’s what Reed told Business Insider about what he did on Wednesday:
4.30am I live in Sydney and aim to spend as many nights at home as possible so I can see my kids, so I tend to take early flights. I spend 3 days a week in Sydney and 2 days in our offices in Melbourne and Auckland.
6.00am Today, I was on a 6am flight to Melbourne. I spend time every morning looking through my calendar … there are so many things that compete for my time that the only way I can manage my time is to be very clear about my priorities and [to] say to no [to unimportant matters].
On the plane today, I had a think about exactly who I might try and have a chat to in the office. I also looked at the 1-on-1 [meetings] I had coming up and the 3 or 4 issues I wanted to talk to each person about.
9.00am I had my first meeting in Melbourne at 9am. I had a 1-hour, 1-on-1 meeting. I have 1-on-1s with all my direct reports every week to discuss operations, feedback and priorities.
10.00am I had a 30-minute meeting of a steering group I sit on, about evolving how we measure performance. There are 50-100 projects going on in MYOB at any given time. I am on the steering groups of 2-3.
I think it’s important to make very clear who has decision rights within an organisation and letting them make decisions.
10.30am I spent an hour walking around the office and catching up with Melbourne staff. We have a 100% open plan office; whenever I travel, I generally block out a bit of time to talk to different team members.
11.30am I had two 30-minute 1-on-1s with my reports.
12.30pm I had a 1-hour meeting with another steering committee I’m on. A lot of my role involves stakeholder management so I need to be in meetings and talking to people.
1.30pm Another 1-on-1 with a direct report.
2.30pm I spent 1-hour catching up with one of MYOB’s partners about her business. I have a certain amount of time each month to meet clients. Meetings are arranged by the person who runs that sales team. Today’s meeting was set up by my national manager of client relations.
3.30pm I’m speaking with you. I set aside a certain amount of time for media engagements. My PR team knows that and they work with my EA [executive assistant] Julie to schedule meetings.
Julie says yes or no to meetings – she makes the decision 98% of the time. If she’s unsure, she’ll bring it to me.
4.00pm I’ve set aside two hours this afternoon to do work on my own. I usually block out more time [on my own] for any specific work I have to get done on days when I’m in Sydney. On Monday, for example, when I was in Sydney, I spent 4 hours looking into an important [technology] decision.
My overall role as CEO is to ensure the business is set up to be competitive in the long run, and that we have the team, processes and systems to ensure success.
I look at technology choices, acquisitions and major roll-outs like our new performance management system, work.com. Our CFO Richard [Moore] is far more involved [in the work.com rollout] on a day-to-day basis but I’m looking more at cultural change.
6.00pm I’ll head back to the airport for my flight to Sydney. Instinctively, you tend to feel good at the end of a day when lots of things go well, but I usually try and reflect on what’s happened and if there’s anything that I need to follow up.
10.00pm Back home.
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