By J. William DeMarco
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
-Pink Floyd: Time
The concept of time is always of interest to me… a while ago I penned a piece NT3 (No Time To Think), a large part of NT3 comes from a lack of priorities.
What is the culture of your organization? In the USAF sometimes we breed work-a-holics and we are very proud of that. We brag about how many hours we put in or how much use-or-lose leave we have with great pride. One thing I am learning is busyness or activity does not equal productivity–so what are those guys really doing on those 16 hour days?
What if we just prioritized better? Sometimes we act as if there is always more time– there are only 24 hours in the day, and we can make choices on how to spend those hours. So more time in the office means less time in the gym, less REM sleep, less time with the family, less time in thought and planning.
Priorities are key and if everything is a priority–nothing is. Prioritizing requires leaders to continually think ahead, to know what is important and what’s next…it requires vision and a plan. A leader must tie these requirements to his/her vision.
Three Maxwellian questions for prioritization
1) What is important? What must I do that no one else can or should do?
2) What gives the greatest return on investment? Leaders much work where their greatest strength is.
3) What brings the greatest reward? Life is just too short not to do the things you love…. it keeps the energy levels high and the deeper creative juices flowing—Leaders must stay passionate.