The four time buckets of managers

In High Output Management, Andy Grove says there are four buckets of stuff managers do:

If a manager’s doing something that doesn’t fall into one of those buckets, then maybe they shouldn’t be the one doing it.

I like this for two reasons:

  1. It helps with the “I feel like I did nothing of value today” problem. In my experience, those “not valuable” days are usually filled with information gathering or being a role model. Both of those are valid uses of a manager’s time, even thought the value isn’t as tangible.
  2. It helps keep my balance of time in check. If I’m spending most of my days nudging (for example), then chances are I’m neglecting the other buckets. Tracking my time into those four buckets shows some interesting trends and imbalances.

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