Early in his career, Chris Capocella was given a rare opportunity that other 20-somethings would dream of.
Six years after joining Microsoft, one of Caposella’s bosses recommended him for an unusual job: being speechwriter for then-CEO Bill Gates.
“It almost fell on my lap,” Capossela, 53, tells CNBC Make It, “Bill sent an email to the executive team explaining what he was looking for, and someone forwarded it to me and said, ‘Your name is on it, you should apply’ … absolutely for ”
Caposella, traveling the world with Gates from 1997 to 1999, witnessed the dot-com revolution with one of tech’s richest, most powerful CEOs, editing speeches at a fast food drive-thru and live Windows products. Assisted Gates with demonstrations.
Today, Capossela is Microsoft’s chief marketing officer, working under Satya Nadella, who became CEO in 2014. He recently celebrated his 31st anniversary at the tech giant.
Capocella learned the most valuable lesson from Gates—and one of his secrets to success, he shares—is the importance of time management.
Caposella explains that Gates is careful in planning his event. “She’s amazing at it,” she continues. “The time management techniques I’ve learned from him have allowed me to achieve the work-life balance I’ve always wanted.”
Here are two time-management techniques Capossela says he learned from Gates and swears by:
Instead of just thinking about your schedule over the weeks and months, it’s important to map out the year ahead.
Capossela saw Gates plan his schedule a year in advance, mostly around Microsoft’s fiscal year, which runs from July to June of the following year.
Planning as far in advance as possible can help you create a rhythm in your schedule, break down year-end goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, increase your productivity and help you achieve your goals, among other benefits. Can improve work-life balance.
You don’t have to have every goal or project for the next 12 months to make this strategy work, says Capossela, but it’s helpful to have a rough outline of annual goals, important dates, holidays, and other major events to reference. The year.
This strategy has helped Capocella plan her work during the year and around the long vacations she gets with the family.
“When I go through my day, I don’t stress about what’s next or what I’m not doing enough, because I plan out my calendar for next year,” he says. “Time is our most precious resource, once it’s gone you can’t get it back… so it’s important to ask yourself, ‘How do I want to spend the next year of my life?'”