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Maximising Your Time: A Simple 3-Step Plan to Prioritise Your Unique Value to Work and Life

Our mission is to help leaders improve the quality of their life, and optimise their unique contribution to everything they do.

In a professional capacity this means spending as much of their time, energy and focus as possible adding their specific knowledge, experience and value to the success of the organisation.

In a personal capacity this means achieving their desired career goals without compromising on everything else that matters in life - family, friends, hobbies, interests - whatever is meaningful to each individual.

In short, it’s all about efficiency and effectiveness. Creating an environment where whatever you spend your time doing, you do it well, enjoy it, and experience a strong sense of purpose and a feeling of balance in life.

One thing leaders often need to be cautious of though is the temptation to pack too much into each day and each week.

Beware the Type-A Personality

It’s a common trait.

High achievers always tend to want to do more, more, more.

It’s helpful to sometimes pause to remember that more doesn’t always mean better.

It's great to be busy, but what if an emergency arises? How do you accommodate this into the already packed schedule?

Fighting Fires?

Usually we drop everything, fix the issue and then pick up where we were before. But sometimes it feels as though there are a lot of emergencies. Which results in the feeling that we’re always firefighting and rarely progressing with the speed we might like to.

Worse than that, operating in this way can aggravate stress levels leading to the sense of working in a reactive mode and feeling overwhelmed rather than clear-headed.

Missing Out On Life?

Or to look at a similar situation a different way, what if something really fun and appealing presents itself? But you don’t have the capacity to take advantage of it.

If this happens once it can be frustrating. If it happens repeatedly, it can lead people to reassess their whole systems of priority, values and what matters most, and this usually doesn’t end well for how they feel about work and their overall happiness.

So, let’s make sure you never need to miss out on anything in the future.

To add the best value at all times, you need to be crystal clear where this lies. You need to slow down periodically in order to channel your time and effort in the right way.

The people who do this well are the ones who regularly plan strategy time into their schedule.

So here’s a great habit to establish and / or evolve over the coming days and weeks.

Finish The Year On A High

Incidentally, there's actually just under 11 weeks (75 days) until the end of 2023 so there's plenty of time to get this habit well-established before the beginning of 2024. And doing so will potentially save you a whole heap of New Year resolutions drama as you'll already be one step ahead of the game.

Firstly, you need to practice resisting the temptation to pack every day completely full. It sounds basic but we're so used to being as busy as possible that it can feel like a new skill to work in a slightly more considered way.

Then, pinpoint how much ‘spare’ time you currently have each day. Time for planning, strategy, creative thinking, shaping the future.

Is it an hour a day? Half an hour? 5-minutes?

Or is it something that isn’t reliable every day? Maybe it happens occasionally, reactively. You find yourself with the odd snatched moment here or there.

Strategy time is crucial but often seen as a nice to have. And this approach is usually OK for a while. But OK doesn’t always feel that satisfying in the medium to long-term.

Knowing there’s a possibility you could be doing better can be frustrating. But often the day job is just too busy to carve out the space you’d like to make this happen.

Take Control!

Start by deciding, how much spare capacity you would like to build into your schedule?

You might need to start small. To prove you can do it and then build on this. it might be just a few moments each day to begin with.

But it needs to be scheduled and it needs to be protected.

It can be easier to protect the slot if you are intentional about what you’ll do with it.

It helps to brainstorm everything you’d like to have time for. Then it becomes exciting.

Here's a simple 3 step process that will help...

You can do this on a sheet of paper, in a journal, in the notes on your phone, on a whiteboard, using a mind map - any way you like to allow your mind some freedom.

Step 1

On one side of the paper or in one section of your notes, write down everything you currently spend time doing. Over a few days, pull together a full list of how you invest your time, energy, knowledge and experience.

Step 2

On the other side of the paper or in a separate section of your notes, write down what you'd like your future weeks to look like. Brainstorm the daily / weekly routine that would ensure the best application of your skills and minimise time spent on activities that distract you from your key contributions or that sap your energy.

Step 3

Determine one action point for the coming week that will begin the process of reducing some of the activities from step 1, thus freeing up a little time for more time spent on the activities highlighted in step 2.

Now all you need to do is review this framework each week. You'll be amazed at how quickly you're able to highlight and make progress with simple action points once you build clarity and momentum of how you'd like to operate in the future.



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