Inspiration: You will never find time for anything...

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.— Charles Bruxton.

Charles Buxton was an English brewer, philanthropist, writer and Member of Parliament. Learn more...

I work with product management teams around the world and they all have one thing in common: they have too much to do, and not enough time.

We say “yes” to too many things. Steve Jobs said, “It's only by saying 'no' that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” There are plenty of good ideas—you have to choose those that are critical to your product. You have to say “no” to the many, many things that are compelling but not vital.

If you want time, you must make it.

As they say, if you don’t control your calendar, someone else will. Block time on your calendar for product management. Pick one day a week to focus on the vital aspects of your job.

In my first product management job, I was living in DC and my developers were in Los Angeles. I flew to LA once a month and stayed with them for a week. They shared the work they’d completed in the last month (what we now call a “demo”) and I caught them up on what I’d been doing.  The rest of the month I’d work with teams around the company and allocate time for product management.

Nowadays I’m doing the same with my consulting clients. I spend a few days with them once a month, leave them action items to do while I’m gone, and checkpoint periodically through the month. 

Can you do the same? Can you allocate time each week or each month for intense focus on product management?

If all you do is respond to the needs of others, you’ll get really good at doing work for others. But who is going to do your work? Who will do product management?

If you want time, you must make it.