Being the best version of yourself every day is hard. Hard because it takes energy and effort, and is exhausting. It’s easier to be us. The ‘us’ that gets things wrong. One some days more things wrong than we get right. An altercation at work on email because we were just too busy to do it the right way. Shouted at the kids. And just felt like being the not best version of ourselves just took less effort. There is no magic pill. We are human and to be the best version of ourselves at least some of the time is better than not at all.
The trick is to know when we want to be amazing and when it’s ok to be normal me. There are those times that are obvious. A meeting with the boss, or the new in-laws are coming over. Other times it is less obvious. I suggest that one of the times to be our best is when we choose what we will do each day. This is because if we choose the wrong things that we need to do each day, then no matter whether we are the best version, or not, we’re stuck doing the wrong things. Stephen Covey tells an excellent story of being in the wrong jungle.
At the risk of inducing a moaning and several versions of ‘Yeah, I know’, it’s what we do with our time that is key. We see people every day fighting the clock for more. Too ‘busy’ to realise that the challenge is choosing what to do, not to do more of it. Once that mind set has taken hold it’s hard to change. Stress, getting too little done, and like a dog chasing its tail, the world will forever be the same. Unless we change it. There are 3 parts to expertly choosing what to do:
- Why are You on the Payroll?
Knowing this seems easy but as a Time Management trainer of over 15 years everyone gets it wrong. In a commercial organisation the answer must make a strong link to sales or profit. Read more about ‘Key Result Areas (KRA’s)’.
- A Living and Breathing Project List
Very few people have sight of the ‘big stuff’. They are working on the small stuff. Getting emails done, answering queries, helping people, without knowing what the big things are that will make an impact on their KRA’s.
- Every Day Write a Daily To Do List
Not a stream of actions, as so many people have. But a plan for each day. A list of tasks that are prioritised and written for each day before the day begins. Ideally written the night before. Including tasks that move the projects forward and ultimately make a dent in the KRA’s.
By having these 3 pieces alive and well you have a good start. The challenge is to then remain disciplined and then to further refine ensuring that there is a strong steel chain link (Think cruise ship anchor chain) between your KRA’s, your Project List and your Daily To Do List.
Darren A. Smith -What do you mean by a game of two halves?— The first half was spent at Sainsbury's Head Office for 12 years, working my way through the buying team to finally managing a billion pound area as a Category Manager.The second half was starting my own business because I wanted to help supermarkets and their suppliers work better together.
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