I recently gave a training titled Time Management, and in the first five minutes, I told the group that it’s not possible to manage time and that this workshop will not teach them how to do that – there were a few raised eyebrows; some awkward shifts in seats and a few people looked at the watch. I then told them that there was no such thing as free time, and they all needed to stop believing the stories they are telling themselves about time.
However, before people got up and left, I told them that we were going to focus on purpose and intention as leaders, call BS on the lies we’ve told ourselves about time, and I’ll teach them how to audit their lives to go from frivolously giving away time to intentionally investing their time for the highest return. The audience was just staring at me, with curious smiles as I started the training.
Stop letting others hijack your WHY! Our lives must be oriented around our ‘bigger why’. There are plenty of slogans, and beautiful Instagram posts telling us to connect to our why; this is the reason we do what we do. Assess how you spend time through the lens of your biggest WHY! When we understand and are fiercely committed to the biggest ‘why’ in our lives, we have an anchor for how we spend our time. But what if you don’t know your why? What if your why has been lost somewhere between the tasks on your to-do list, working to pay bills, and the general rat race? I get it, I’ve forgotten my own why; even after becoming a coach, when things have gotten tough in the business, I’m feeling scared, and my people-pleasing voice becomes loud, and I get off track. Here’s the thing, our why is what drives us, it’s the pivotal piece that can ground you, and some of us (me included) need to remind ourselves of our whys.
Your time is precious – treat it this way – seriously. When I was leading teams, my calendar looked like a rainbow explosion with meetings and meetings, and then where there were no meetings, I’d have my ‘open door policy’ and let anyone come in with a burning issue. I would end my day with that question, “where did my time go?” like I lost my keys and couldn’t find them. Time is precious – know where you are spending it. You can take notes on your phone, keep a piece of paper by your computer or bed, and jot it down. Do this for a week and see where you focus your time and energy. Where are you spending most of your time?
Call BS on the false stories! How many times have you said…. ‘Just one more thing and I’ll be back on track… or if I only get over this bust week, I’ll be fine. CALL BS – as high-power, highly motivated, and successful humans, we’ll always have ‘just one more thing’ call BS on this thinking! Instead, interrogate the story to understand where it came from, what it’s serving (even our false stories are trying to serve us), and call BS!
Finally, consider looking at your time as the most valuable commodity that we have. Think about your big rocks, what in your life requires the most intentional and important. Call BS on the stories you’ve been told, audit your time, look at where you are spending it – sometimes it’s not about the ‘hours spent’ but the quality of how you are spending those hours. How we spend time is a choice.
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