Tuesday, 19 August 2014 13:43

Are you becoming irrelevant?

Three centuries ago Goethe wrote elegantly, Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

22 years ago Steven Covey was more direct when he said that if you don’t spend enough time on your personal goals and priorities, your life becomes irrelevant.
Personal effectiveness depends on the ability to make choices, take decisions, and act on them. The extent to which we do so is a measure of integrity and the value we place on ourselves.

We allocate time to things based on our assessment of their urgency and importance. Urgent matters are usually in our faces, demanding attention: we react to them. Importance has to do with goals and results. They’re important but rarely urgent.

While intelligent technology and smart tools continue to accelerate the pace of life, the principles remain unchanged.

In practice many of us are chasing problems and crises all day, every day. Every waking moment is consumed by meetings, e-mail and phone calls. The only thinking we do is on our feet. We’re almost permanently in reactive mode applying well-worn solutions to what we assume are familiar problems.

We claim to have goals and objectives in customer service, innovation, development of talent, quality improvement and resource utilization ... not to mention personal and family priorities. But from day to day, we spend relatively little productive time on activities that lead to results in these areas. Keep a daily record of how you spend your time in a week and check this for yourself.

You can break the cycle.
1. Start by choosing one or two goals that are most important to you at the present time. Don’t over commit.
2. Learn to say no and use that skill to avoid things that don’t contribute to your priorities.
3. Give up your control freak habits and start delegating.

Then take the time you’ve gained and spend it where it will add value. In principle it’s simple: in practice not so. But the alternative is to become irrelevant.

Additional Info

  • Topic: Resilience, Work Life Balance, Self Development

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