Each of us has a simple, but very powerful gift that cannot be placed in a box – our time. Time always seems in short supply – some are controlled by it – others fight against it. Time has been described as “the cruelest teacher, because first she gives the test, then teaches the lesson.”
Consider how you use your gift, as you reflect on the five time reminders below:
- The perceived way leaders spend time, money, and resources is a significant factor in how organizational culture is embedded and becomes a norm (Edgar Schein).
- The classic question, “what do you want – quality or quantity?” applies with our use of time. Ideally, we want both. For example, we believe discussing personal development and career interests, and reviewing performance in a quality manner only ‘once a year’ is not dedicating enough time. We prefer a higher frequency to go along with quality because it makes us feel valued and important.
- Time must be allocated for both input and output. If the time you spend with people is predominantly downloading, dumping, sharing personal opinions, and trying to convince others to change, then you have overloaded your output phase. Asking questions, listening, and reflecting on others’ thoughts and ideas is critical input and time needed to be effective.
- Time is a critical element to developing and sustaining positive relationships. It is important to initiate the use of time versus always just reacting to a request for time. Think how you feel and your relationship when someone initiates contact with you versus simply reacts to your email, text message, phone call, or meeting request.
- Technology and automation are intended to give us more time. In reality, they simply give us new ways to squeeze more into the 86,400 seconds of each day. One of the hardest things to do with time – is to stop ‘spending it’ on activities that do not align with your personal or business goals. Everything can’t be a priority!
Operation Christmas Child is a powerful, simple gift ... Bottom line, your time is too! The choices we make on how we spend our time explicitly show others what and who are our most important priorities. These choices create our life and our legacy.