You probably have a couple of credit cards. You guard your password or pin number diligently. Only you may spend money on your credit card.
Imagine your work time is like a credit card. Lots of people ask you for your time for meetings, catch-ups over coffee, interruptions…these folk are spending your time. You have given them your pin and your password and they spend your time freely.
Meanwhile you have stuff to do too – you have to interrupt others, you spend time getting done whatever you have to get done in order to be productive.
There may be too few controls over your time credit card. Unlike a money card if you overspend you do not go into debt. What happens is that your list of things to get done – your “to do” list is far longer than your list of accomplishments – your “I’ve done this” list. You have given away your password.
You may be happy about this. Or you may be thinking that you really have a distraction credit card and not a time credit card. It’s as though there is a universe of possible distractions out there and we, and others, spend freely on them at the cost of getting done what is essential to get done.
A useful start to spending your time – like your money – more carefully is to decide what is essential. Am I spending my time on what matters? Are others spending your time on what matters to you?
By Joe Moore. Joe is the founder and principal of Kimber Moore Associates. He and his team are highly skilled in helping leaders and staff deal with uncertainty, change, complexity and conflicts. You can contact Joe here