Archive for May, 2010
This post is a follow-up to Protect Your Time: 8 Ways to Stay Focused on Important Stuff. Can you tell I care about this topic?
I work with lots of people who are booked all day long, 8am-6pm, every single day of the week. Most of these people complain that they have no time to do any “real” work since they’re “sooooooo busy” all the time. Yet sitting in a meeting with a laptop open only half paying attention isn’t real work, and most people know that 🙂
Still, they let their time get abused left and right and don’t realize that they’re ultimately in control of the situation. Heck, they may not even identify it as a problem to begin with. They’re busy right? Who has time to think about producing, creating, or <ugh> leading anyway?!
When you break it down, time is the purest and most ultimate resource we have for action. We don’t own many things completely and totally, but time is one of the things that we get to choose how to spend. And as we’ve discussed on this blog in the past, your life is the sum of what you choose to focus on – so spend it wisely, because you aren’t going to get it back. How you spend your time is going to impact your life in ways greater than your money, relationships, or job alone ever could.
It’s easy to look at a situation like being booked all week and think it’s unavoidable. If you’re in a role with a decent amount of responsibility, it’s also easy to assume that responsibility has to equate to meeting attendance and being “busy” all the time. But of course, it doesn’t… and never will.
Having responsibility for something important means that you’re a decision-maker of some sort. The best decisions are made based on experience, instinct, and data. And there are ways to gain practical experience, hone your native instinct, and collect and synthesize data outside of meetings. In fact, you could make an argument that the more time you spend in useless meetings, the less opportunity you have to gain that experience or practice your craft.