Time is the most precious thing in our lives. Although time itself will continue to tick away indefinitely, for us mere mortals, our time is finite. We have a beginning and an end – like our own personal “time slot.” Some choose to do great things with their time slot, while others talk about what they’re going to do but never seem to gain much ground.
We never seem to have enough time to accomplish all the things we want to do. That’s what it usually feels like these days. We’re living in extraordinary times. Things move fast. Every day, all day, information comes at us in massive quantities. Business moves at a relentless pace. And in these economic times, being on your game every day isn’t just the way it is – it’s the way it has to be.
By now, I hope I have your thinking wrapped around what you’re doing with your time slot. Take a deep breath and ponder the following:
- It’s your time slot to do with as you wish: I need to live my own dreams and follow my own path to what’s important to me. It’s just who I am. If someone chooses to procrastinate his or her way through life, that’s the choice that’s made. If you want to go after your dreams and are willing to give it all you’ve got, that’s also a choice. I for one cannot fathom the thought of wasting away my time slot with dreams that I never go after.
- Live up to your own expectations: You can spend your life trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations, or, you can live up to your own. I may be motivated by others to stretch, but I’m my own best motivator. I know when I’m on my game and when I’m not. I know when I’m working on high-value projects and when I’m just keeping busy on low-level stuff – knowing that “keeping busy” is another form of procrastination. Live up to your own expectations and you’ll exceed everyone else’s.
- It’s OK to take “me time”: None of us is endowed with super-hero powers. I need to balance periods of intense work with “me time.” That’s why getting out on my road bike and doing 30+ miles every few days is so important. It gives me time to think or just zone out. I can try to beat my personal best time or just enjoy the ride. I feel great after. And it keeps me fit, both physically and mentally. If you’re feeling burned out, it’s usually because you’re not balancing work with taking care of yourself.
- Work your bucket list: I know that there are some big items on my bucket list that just may not happen. I also know that I’m the reason those things won’t happen. I know that if I want them enough, I’ll go after them. Writing No-Compromise Leadership was on my bucket list for years – until I finally decided it was time. No matter what, I keep adding to my bucket list and checking items off.
I hope this Monday Morning Wake-Up gets you thinking about what to do with your own time slot. It got me thinking about mine.
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Neil Ducoff, Founder & CEO of Strategies and author of No-Compromise Leadership