What is most important right now?
“Time, if I only had time” is a wonderful line from the classic John Rowles hit. The older one gets the more depth and meaning this line has. Time really is such a rare and precious limited resource.
Do you tend to spend or invest your time?
How do you make the most of your daily allocation of 86,400 seconds?
How do you choose where you focus and what you pay attention to?
When training ‘time management’ to people, these are some of the the common questions that get discussed and asked. These have been asked and answered in various ways over the decades - from Eisenhower/Covey “Urgent/Important” quadrant to Rory Vaden’s “significance funnel”.
At the heart of all these techniques lies two core questions.
“Where do you add the most value?” and then, knowing this, “What do you need to do right now?”
Here is a simple calculation for you:
Total number of hours you work a week - focused hours spent working in the area where you add the greatest value = effectiveness ratio
I often find that when people do this the figure is far from desirable. It is amazing how easily time is frittered away. Other people's priorities for our time (often disguised in email), procrastination, interruptions and task switching steal our time. Mix into this the effects of Parkinson Law where work expands to fill the time available and it is easy to see why many people struggle to spend even half of their available time focused on the one area where they add the most value.
The much touted example of Perpetual Guardian illustrates this well. Upon observing the time wasted each day the offer was made to staff to work 4 days and receive 5 days pay if they could maintain output. Not only did they maintain output - they increased it!
This is not really surprising. When you know you are due to take leave, how much more focused and productive do you get? Here’s a challenge - take the next 3 Fridays off and watch what you do to maintain effectiveness at work. Some of this will be harder work but, for the most part, it will come down to being a lot more focused on what is needed and making decisions quicker. There will also be less space given to distractions. 3 weeks is a habit forming length of time with the reward of 3 long weekends to help galvanise you to action.
Is it time you treated yourself?
Here's to your success!