Focusing your time: What’s really important to you?

I had the great honor of speaking to a group of senior advertising agency media executives at the iMedia Summit last week. The presentation was entitled:  “Maximizing your brain and energy at work.”.  The engagement and feedback around this topic was incredible.  No surprise, because we’re always trying to find ways to be smarter and more effective with how we spend our time at work (and in life).   But what struck me most was how many people talked honestly and humbly about how they’ve lost connection to what’s important in their work – simply because they have no time.

While we can’t find time, we can make time for what’s important.  Yet our days are  focused on managing information – email, meetings, juggling tasks.    In my research on the topic of managing time, I found that on average we will spend 10 years of our life on email. Worse yet, studies show that our IQ drops 10 points when we multi-task.  And when we multi-task it makes us less productive. Seems like a lot of time to allocate to something that’s making us less intelligent and less productive.

When I coach my clients on how to become more successful in the work that they do, time is almost always a topic.  So I ask this question:  “If time was no issue, what would do more of at work?”.  The answers seem to fall into 4 areas:  Strategy, Ideation/Creativity, Relationships, Meaning.  Do any of these resonate with you?  I bet they do.  And interestingly enough as I began this blog article, I came across a Harvard Business Review article entitled “What Matters Most?”. It’s an excellent synopsis of one-word answers to what’s important from key thought leaders around the word.  Ah….proof again that we are all looking for the some of the same things. They list words like meaning, autonomy, compassion, generosity, ease…. and 65 others.  As a wise coach friend once said, “At the end of the day, we all just want to make a difference.  And we hope that someone notices”.

As the end of the year fast approaches, take the time to think about what’s really important to you in 2010. What do you want to be spending more time on?  What difference do you want to make?

Then focus your energy there, remind yourself daily, and notice the difference!

The next few articles will focus on the concept of time.  Please come back for more or forward to others.

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