Do you get the feeling sometimes that you’re so busy doing many things, but there’s hardly any progress at the end of the week?
The work seems to keep piling up and you try your best to clear them, yet you don’t seem to be nearer to your big goals.
You’re all too familiar with that sinking feeling when it’s time to show account of your results and you don’t have much to show!
You already know of the need to focus on your major priorities, but you somehow got swamped by the daily storms and chaos. What you have planned seldom pan out in actual reality.
How do you manage your schedule when everything seems to be important and urgent? What can you do?
Many times, we try to manage time but somehow lose sight of the bigger picture. Are there better ways?
Let’s take a moment and consider these 3 keys:
1) Direction matters more than Movement
“It is not how busy you are or how fast you’re moving, it’s how effectively you are advancing in the right direction.” ~ Robert K. Cooper
Everyone seems to be busy all the time. Everyone is constantly on the move.
It’s easy to mistake lots of movement for real progress. It’s easy to get lost in busyness without any meaningful advancement.
To avoid that, be reminded of these questions:
What are the 3 things I can achieve today that will contribute significantly to my goals?
What’s the one change I can make that will make the biggest positive difference?
What can I do today that my future self will thank me for?
At the end of every day, ask yourself this: If the next 10 days is going to be like today, will I be closer to my desired future?
Be truthful with yourself. If you get many “No” in a week, you know it’s time to make a change. Otherwise, you will continue to slide (unaware) further away from your goals.
2) Purpose matters more than Activities
More than achieving your goals and hitting targets, it’s about the overarching purpose that inspires you forward. It is what gives meaning to your activities.
I’d always admire powerful swimmers. It’s not about how much they flail their arms and legs – that only produce splashes in water. It’s about alignment of their body with the head. The movement matches their intention.
See how great swimmers’ strokes are executed with purpose and conviction. It’s a wonderful display of the economy of motion.
In the same way, be led by your overarching purpose in what you do. Be inspired and moved by it. Let your convictions be your fuel.
At the end of the day, we all want to create meaning through our work.
Ask yourself these questions:
What matters more than anything to me?
What is truly meaningful in my work, business, and life?
How can I create more meaning through what I do every day?
3) Choosing Moments matters more than Managing Time
More than saving or managing time, it’s about choosing the right, crucial moments to execute your most critical tasks.
In soccer matches for example, we may not recall every detail of the match, but we can never forget the few critical moments: when an attacking player makes an incisive penetrating run, or when the playmaker makes a defence-splitting pass that contributed to a goal, or when the goalkeeper makes an impossible save. Equally crucial (for the wrong reason) are these moments: when a defender concedes a penalty, or when a player gets himself sent off.
Whether in life, games or business, we could recall the few critical moments that play a pivotal role. Those few decisive moments are the difference between success and failure.
It takes only a small moment to make a game-changing impact. Look out and be ready for these moments – that matter more than managing time.
Questions for reflection:
How can I be prepared to anticipate the critical moments in my work, life, games, relationships etc.?
How will I be able to recognize those moments?
What can I learn from my past?
These are not typical time management and productivity tips. They serve to provoke you to think deeper. I wish you less busyness, more productivity, and may you create meaningful impact in your work and life.