“We grow the aspects of our lives that we feed – with energy and engagement – and choke off those we deprive of fuel. Your life is what you agree to attend to.” -Jim Loehr, author, The Power of Engagement
It’s difficult to fit your entire to-do list into the workday, isn’t it? That’s why many of you who are reading this left the office last night and spent some (or all) of your evening finishing up tasks that you didn’t have time for during the day. This is typical, especially of Americans, who are working so many more hours each week that it adds up to an average of 4 weeks longer per year than they worked 30 years ago. Are you included in that group?
If you had more time, you could get it all done, right? Not likely. In the words of Jim Loehr, author of The Power of Engagement, “The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quality and quantity of energy available to us is not.” The lesson here is that time is just one of the components in your goal to increase personal effectiveness and improve your personal presence.
Loehr’s message for us fits nicely with EDSI’s personal effectiveness and professional presence mission. Consider how busy everyone is. As they say, “Busy is the new fine.” Isn’t that sad? What we need is less busy, more intention and focus on where we are going, and if our current plan and the professional culture we are working in is taking us there. If there is a gap between you and the professional culture of your organization, how can you close it? Are the activities you’re doing now helping to prepare you for where you want to go, both personally and professionally? Think about how powerful it would be for your professional (and personal) life to know that your personal and career goals are aligned with your company?
Time Isn’t the Only Factor
Have you ever sat at your desk at the end of the day, staring at the same document you’ve been working on all afternoon, and it seems that productivity stopped hours ago, with the rest of the afternoon being spent occasionally making progress and the other time hopping between Facebook and email? I think we all know that more time working does NOT equal more work done.
Get out of your “there’s not enough time” rut by answering these questions, courtesy of author, Charlie Gilkey:
- On gaining time: What are you doing that you could either stop doing or do more efficiently so that there’s less time seepage?
- On using time: What would you do with any additional time that you gain? Is the juice worth the squeeze?
- On gaining energy: What could you do to increase your available physical, emotional, social, mental, and physical energy?
- On losing energy: What are the sources of energy drain in your life? Is there something you can do to address those sources? It’ll probably take more energy to deal with the cause than the symptom, but continually applying band-aids has a cost, too.
- On gaining attention: What really engages you? What are naturally drawn to do?
- On losing attention (being distracted): What’s distracting you or causing you to continually shift focus? Is there a way to alter your environment so you’re less prone to be distracted by them?
Your time, energy and attention are precious. Think about what you could do if you release the power of all three. Would you like to learn more? Here is one of our most downloaded white papers. It’s short, practical, and cuts to the chase on personal effectiveness and professional presence.
Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) has been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years, and she is ready to tackle any question you have.