A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of speaking on behalf of the Professional Business Women of California (PBWC) on the subject of “Maximizing Productivity – Identifying What’s Really Important to You and Creating the Time and Space to Make it Happen” To my amazement and honor, nearly 1,400 people showed up!
Earlier this week I sat down to focus on the first essential part: “Identifying What’s Really Important to You”. As I was thinking about how I work with clients and teams to help define what’s important to them, I got a phone call. My 102 year old grandma had passed away.
At 102, she obviously had a very long life – and fortunately a great one. For me, experiencing the death of a loved one at this age was a blessing as well as a loss.
As I sit down now to continue this article, the meaning of “Identifying What’s Really Important to You” feels much more deep, meaningful, important, and profound. And it also feels more urgent. Though 102 years on this earth is longer than most experience, it’s really not that long. Perhaps not long enough to see, enjoy, experience and accomplish all that you want to – “put your own dent in the world” as I like to say. Or perhaps not long enough to be who you really want to be.
The great news is that it’s never too late.
It just takes one moment, one step, or one choice to commit to what’s really important to you!
For more reflections and tips on “Identifying What’s Really Important to You”, please read on….
Identifying What’s Really Important to You
What’s really important to me about speaking to an audience is that it provides not only a forum to help others on subjects I’m passionate about, but also the opportunity to witness participants ‘learning – the “ah ha” moments. If I’m really lucky, someone will get in touch and share these moments, learning or feedback.
This was one of those times, thanks to one of the amazing women in the audience.She reached out to thank Kraft Your Success for the “Be a Leader of Your Own Time” session. What a great title, I thought. And then it hit me. While this talk is about “Maximizing Productivity”, very rarely has someone reached out to share their epiphanies about the time management tips that were discussed or the steps to get more done. Hopefully, they are implementing some of that learning. Instead, we get emails from people thanking us because our approach helped them see that in order to reach their most important goals, they not only have the ability to be a leader of their own time – but the responsibility to be that leader.
This participant summed it up beautifully:
“You made me realize that I really allow others to dictate my schedule because I do not set boundaries for myself … I have not been a ‘leader of my own time.’ I have constant interruptions – even when I put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on my door. So it is my fault that I have not put my foot down, and not allow the interruptions, which would then allow myself the time I need to focus. What an epiphany! Thank you so much. I really can’t put into words how much “weight” has been lifted off of my shoulders. In hindsight I’m now wondering why I didn’t already see it.”
– Laura, Corporate Procurement, Chevron Services
What a powerful statement!
Two core things stand out:
First of all, she realized that her challenges with time were due, at least in part, to her not putting herself first. What did she identify as really important? – Herself and her time. Big applause for that!
Second, she wondered why she didn’t already see it? I don’t know her answer to that question, but one of the things that I know about human behavior is that in this fast moving 24/7 world we often react to and manage information, instead of focusing on what really matters to us.
She also probably hadn’t spent much time identifying what was really important to her. Now she has.
You can too! So today, ask yourself: what’s really important to you in your current role, your career, your future…and your life. Asked more simply “If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?”
We would love to hear your answers! And if you need someone to help encourage, motivate, cheer, or give that extra nudge, we’re here for you.