Author: Kristen Stockton
What You Can Do to Maximize Your Most Valuable Resource
Do you wake up ready to develop a brilliant plan for your company or team only to realize later that the day got away from you, it is now dark outside and you have no idea what happened? And as you lay your head down on the pillow that night, do you believe that if only you had more time, you’d get to the “one thing”-- you know, the “one thing” you keep moving from list to list. We think not enough time is the problem—but it’s not. The problem is not enough time, it is our inability to differentiate what is important when everything is urgent. We need to eliminate time wasters.
Time is the one resource we cannot afford to waste, and yet we waste it every day. When we take a hard look at how we spend our time, we find that we have enough time in the day to be both strategic and purposeful. After all, we have 16 hours to get things done (24 hours minus 8 hours for sleep) – so we must shift how we think about time.
How do we do that exactly? The tricky part is that many of us believe we will be more important, valuable, and “loved” if we say “yes” to everything. It is why we take on more, attend more, post more, respond more, and otherwise do more. Doing more just makes us frazzled.
Do we need to say “no” more? No, we need to start asking better questions, and more of them. We have become conditioned to be “doers” not “askers.”
Here is the million-dollar question: “To what do you want to say ‘yes’? “
When you ask this question, you pause the “doer button” in your brain. You immediately create space to think differently. Time then becomes a resource that is real. You can see it shape how you achieve greater things for yourself, your family, and the world.
When you ask questions, you begin to differentiate what is important when everything is urgent. Start asking better questions:
- Who is the best person on the team to attend this meeting?
- What would make this a more efficient process?
- Would a virtual meeting be better than flying and meeting in person?
- Do I really care about what Aunt Jane posted on Facebook?
To change your relationship with time, flip the script on your belief system. Get a clear view of how you spend your time including what is on your calendar, as well as the interruptions and the habits that become your time wasters. How many times do you check social media or news feeds after you start a project? How many times do you rewrite an email that was fine after the first edit? An hour or two can go by with nothing accomplished.
When you focus on time wasters, you will:
- Stop starving yourself, your family, your team, your company, and society of the value you bring.
- Start believing that you have enough time for what is strategic and purposeful.
- Start living and thriving in your career and making things happen.
- Start acting on what is important, not merely urgent.
About the Author:
Kristen Stockton, ACC is Co-Founder and EVP and Executive Coach at JASKAP Consulting, LLC, Business Advisor and Senior Business Partner at Progression Partners, has over 25 years’ experience in Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility.