Have you ever gone through a day doing stuff to get to the end of that day feeling like you just spent 8 hours spinning your wheels getting nowhere? Or you checked off that “to do” list and still had the feeling something was missing? Come on…you know what I’m talking about.
The issue might be that you might have been focusing on the wrong things. We are currently in the age of distraction. There are so many demands on our time it’s difficult to figure out what to focus on. We spend our valuable time racing around following other people’s agenda. Don’t get me wrong, some of our to do’s are just things we have to get done. Going to work, feeding our families, helping the kids get their homework done, doing the laundry, but let’s face it…a lot of what we are doing just ends up being tasks that seem to fill the time void which give us a false sense of accomplishment.
How would it feel if you ended your day feeling you just spent 8 hours enriching your life and the lives of those around you? Think it can’t be done? Think again.
This post is part 1 of a 3 part series on productivity. Time management is a part of productivity, but even with managed time, you can still be doing things that do little to enrich your life and the lives of the people you love and care about.
example, I am a father, husband, gym owner, coach, teacher, friend, son, leader, child of a holy God, fitness freak and the list can go on. The key is to pick about 5-7 roles that are most important to you right now and focus on taking the actions that help you move your life forward in a meaningful way.
If I determine that my role as a husband is important, am I carving out time in my week to connect with my wife? As a developing leader, am I taking time to learn about leadership and using what I learn to help feed those around me? If not, I will ultimately fail in the areas I deem to be important to me.
The next step is to manage my time accordingly to be able to focus on the actions steps that will help me to have success in the most important areas of my life. One tool I find helpful, in doing this, is my Google Calendar. I color code my day, blocking out time for specific focus. I use to think that multi-tasking worked, but the reality is that NOTHING gets done well when you mulita-task. I now call my focused time “power hours”. If I block time off to read about leadership, I get myself present in the moment and turn off any distractions (Facebook,phone,T.V.) that will get in the way of learning. If I am taking time to talk with my wife, I don’t answer email or watch T.V. and try to talk with her at the same time. Don’t get me wrong…when I first tried to do this, I was terrible at it. I’m still working on this, but the more I practice, the better I get.
Take time this week to identity your most important roles and brainstorm on ways to manage your focused time better. Google Calendar works for me, but you need to find a system that works for you!
Becoming more mindful of what is distracting you, is a great first step. Don’t get frustrated with the process; just keep at it until you master it. Remember…you are a work in progress, so don’t expect perfection. If you stick to the plan you will discover that your life will change for the better!!