This past weekend Jon and I went on an adventure to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. A decade ago, I used to make an annual pilgrimage to the refuge every December for their Eagle Days celebration. The time there brought back wonderful memories of friends and the experiences we shared. It was a reminder that it is important to choose how I spend my time.
Daniel Pink recently asked a similar question, “Is what I’m doing right now going to be of lasting value to me or to others?”
In my world, time gets consumed online in-between meeting after event after meeting all while texting to keep business and family schedules synced and moving. The reality is that I’m riding along on the wave and taking my family and business along for the ride. What I choose directly influences who I become and what lasting value I create.
It’s time to stop and ask the question, “Is what I’m doing right now going to be of lasting value to me or to others?” And, then reflect on how I am choosing to use my time.
And yes, we saw over 30 eagles.
Yes! I know how to make to-do lists. I schedule a specific time in my day to return telephone calls. I have my e-mail flagged for follow-up. I use my Blackberry to keep my Inbox cleaned out on evenings and weekends. Great! … but …
For all of our time management strategies, there are never more than 24 hours in each day. While we are busy trying to manage our time, it goes by apace. Everyone gets the same amount. The truth is: Time is something outside of our control.
Is it possible that we need to stop trying to manage our time better and start managing ourselves? Try keeping a tally of how often you are distracted by another e-mail or text message. Or keep track of how many times you start a task only to take a phone call. Or tally how many times you postpone doing something you value like spending time creating a new work strategy, connecting with friends and family, or going on a walk. What if you intentionally disconnected for 30 or 60 minutes to focus on an important task or to have a significant discussion?
What if we stopped blaming our inability to manage time and started actively managing our selves?