More Precious Than Gold
Time. We all would like more of it. Many of the executives with whom I meet more often than not do not have enough time. It's precious.
It seems nearly every moment is being invaded by cyber-Vikings, raiding the very thing we crave, more time. In the modern information era we are at the mercy of the invading horde of texts, emails, online ads, videos, memes, etc.
Aside from these cyber-marauding invaders, there are the less technology dependent demands that suck up time - so many daily decisions to be made about family, schools, schedules, work and more. The list goes on and on. There are so many seemingly important and urgent demands on our time.
Time is something that we cannot create more of. The cycle of day and night is relentlessly consistent. The seasons come and go marking the passing of another year, the passing of more time. And while you cannot create more hours in the day, there is hope.
How we spend our time.
We only have so much time on this planet. It's finite; we just don't know how much of it we have. With time being so precious and in seemingly short supply, have you stepped back to evaluate how you spend your time?
In the Information Age we desire more and more information to make what we perceive as better decisions. Sometimes we can get caught up in so much data and analysis that our head spins.
We indulge ourselves, mentally check out, or we consciously or unconsciously choose to avoid. There are no shortages of diversions steeling our attention and our time.
Where is your focus?
For many with whom I work, their attention is drawn outside of themselves and which is outside of their control. Do you focus on results, on others' opinions, employee satisfaction surveys or piles of data? It's all external information. Please don't get me wrong. Data is useful. But when making key decisions that affect you, your family, employees and co-workers, the buck stops with you and you can't blame the data.
Results. As much as you may try, you cannot control them. That's right. This was one of the big illusions that I held onto for a long time. If I only worked harder, worked more hours and anticipated all the possible outcomes, then I could control those outcomes. Not so! I was deluding myself.
I can only control the actions taken at any one point in time and space. That moment and only that moment is the present. Focus on anything else merely wastes my energy and my time.
Become the designer of time and space.
To have more time, time that nourishes, we need to become the designer of time and space. We need to take ownership of how we spend our time. With an inward focus, you can create a clear path, a clear direction for all of your efforts.
With a clear focus, a clear purpose, you can make choices of how you use your time consistent with your purpose. I encourage you to make "you" a part of that focus.
Step back, nourish and create.
It was easy for me to focus only on the goal at hand, to ignore everything around me with intense focus. Quite literally, I was so focused that I forgot about me, and at times I forgot even to breathe. The result? My heart was weak and my life needed to change.
Step back and take stock. Take a moment or longer if you dare and take a breath. Actually, take three to ten deep, slow breaths. Listen to the quiet. Be grateful. Be grateful for everything, the good and the not so good. Bring focus to yourself and design the time and space that will nourish your spirit and your soul. Those who depend on you will be eternally grateful.
John Fenton is an executive coach and mentor, professional speaker, author of the upcoming book on the Brian-Body Connection and expert in self-mastery.