Time management! Oh my god, where do I even start? For almost my entire life I have thought of time management as a task- checklists and timesheets. But I’ll be honest, I used to think being busy is a trophy. Afterall don’t we want to always get into “busy people’s diaries” and look up to them?
Funnily we never ask the most important question- are busy people really busy? What are they busy with?
So, I wanted to touch upon this pandemic of busy-ness and how it is affecting every aspect of our lives. It has to do with this belief that the more we do, the more life we have, the more abundance we have, the more titles we have, the more fulfilment we have, and so on.
But here, I'm going to tell you, it's actually the opposite of that. If you have noticed the cover art of my podcast, it says DO LESS. And there's a reason why I say that…
Doing less requires you to prioritize, to strategize. It’s rarely about “time management”.
But most of us are so busy in our day to day lives, in our careers, in our jobs, that we just don't have the time to look at things strategically because we are trying to “manage time better”.
Stop and ask yourself- What is the direction of travel? Where are we going? Where are we headed to? If you don't know that, you just keep on adding to the pandemic of busy-ness.
And it is indeed a pandemic.
And it's almost worn as this badge of honour.
And I'm going to say enough, that's enough!
Please stop and just see what is happening to you. Because of you being busy 24/7.
Busy-ness, unfortunately, doesn't solve anything. In fact, it does the opposite of solving for things.
Back in the day, when I was in my first job at Deloitte, there were a couple of projects where we were working crazy hours. And this will not come as a surprise to most consultants, you are used to working crazy hours. But I will have to say that because of those crazy hours, we lost not only our creativity but also our sense of logic sometimes, which I only figured out towards the end of the project when I started having more and more space and time. And it wasn't just me, this was for everyone. And this is true every single day of our lives- the more space you have to think the more space you have to be silent, quieten down your mind, the more successful you will be in your career.
Because you have that time now to strategize. Now you suddenly have that time to indeed own your career, like a CEO, like I always talk about.
How can you really do this in your career? The first thing is to remember that your job is not your career, your job is just a part of your career, your job will bring in some revenue into your business, i.e. some money into your bank account. But it is not the be-all and end-all of your careers- your career is much bigger than just a job. So you have to approach it like that.
Once you start approaching it like that, you need to track down exactly what it is that is keeping you busy. Can the busy work be deleted, automated or delegated? Do we know it well enough to be automating it or delegating it? And there's no shame in asking for help. Remember, this is another pandemic of “I have to do it all by myself”!
No, no, you don't have to do it all alone. In fact, every team, every company, every individual who is successful, actually has a team to help them with the things that have made them so successful.
And remember that burnout doesn't help anyone! It doesn't help you for sure. It doesn't even help your employer. It doesn't make them look good. And actually, if you are burnt out and the 50 other employees working with you are burnt out, guess how the company's performance is going to be? Burnt out employees rarely give the best possible performance for a company's P&L/Balance Sheet/ Shareholder value.
So if you just step out and look bigger. I'm not going to say much in this episode, I'm just going to put it out there. Are you thinking like a CEO? Are you holding out space for the important things in your life, in your career and indeed in your job?
Because quite a lot of times you'll find people put in meetings after meetings, after meetings into your diary. The whole day passes out with meetings, and when you are working till midnight or past just to finish up the things that you were supposed to work through in the day, but you just never had the time.
And were those meetings ultimately helpful? Did you need to be there?
And if the answer is no, for a multiple numbers of meetings, you know what to do. You have to cut down on the number of meetings that you are having in the day, or, you know, whatever it is, that is taking up huge proportions of your time in the day needs to be either automated or delegated.
If it's a repeatable task, it probably needs to be automated. Can you own that piece? Can you own that piece and accelerate your career progression in the direction of travel you want to rather than doing the repeatable work as a robot would?
So I'm going to leave you with a task today: silence your mind for at least 10 minutes a day.
It is incredibly powerful. Yeah, for the first one week, you will probably doze off to sleep every single day or be bored out of your mind. But honestly, spending 10 minutes a day in silence just activates some power within your mind. It helps you process information that you have never really done before. And the more you do, the more you realize that you actually become sharper.
Those 10 minutes can be meditation. Or if you prefer looking out into nature, just being present in the moment, looking at a piece of art, whatever it be!
It doesn't need to look the same for everyone. In fact, it will not definitely look the same for everyone. But spending that valuable time on yourself rather than the 1000 pieces of content that are trying to get your attention, every single second is far more powerful and far more valuable.
Spend that quality time with yourself. We are just asking for 10 minutes a day. And you'll notice the difference within a month. I guarantee you that.