You’re incredibly busy, I understand. You have more stuff to do than you’ve ever had before. Reading. Responding. Figuring out. Taking calls. Emailing. Before you know it, you’ve worked 10 hours today and you wonder what exactly you accomplished.
That’s the trap.
DOING STUFF is not the same as ACHIEVING SOMETHING. And most people who look at their lives discover that a lot of the stuff they’ve spent time on didn’t actually result in anything particularly useful.
I know that I’m pushing my luck a little bit here, because you’re reading a career blog. Most likely, this time here won’t result in something that directly benefits your job.
Unless you change the way you work, which is exactly the point I’m getting to.
Take a few minutes to figure out what’s most important for you to accomplish this week. That might be delivering stuff for your boss, nurturing some relationships, or thinking through some significant decisions.
Now, the difficult part: How much time did you spend in the last few days actually advancing those important things? Be honest – you don’t have to tell anyone what the answer is.
Then take some of those many other tasks and activities and push them to the back burner. Does that feel wrong? Well, it will, but live with the tension a little longer and see what happens.
Perhaps you will discover some other priorities for your job that weren’t at first apparent. That might cause you, for instance, to more quickly answer those e-mails from your boss, your team mates, and your family. Fantastic! You’ve clarified the priorities!
But I’ll bet that there’s a whole lot of activities which are consuming a lot of time, but aren’t making an important difference to you or anyone else. Push them to the back burner.
And get something IMPORTANT done today.
by Carl Dierschow