My friend Melissa Fairman has a three-part series on time management that is in week two, but I didn’t want to wait to tell you about it.
Melissa is trying to help you figure out how to manage your time better so you can do important work. What’s important work? Well, it’s work that moves an organization forward. Or, in my opinion, it’s work that moves the business of you forward.
Time management is not my friend. Well, more accurately, details are not my friend. Years ago, I was organized and walked around with a day planner in my hands. Then I saw how influential people outsourced their details, and I followed suit. Stopped paying attention to details and relied on others. Pretty stupid because I started missing meetings, flights, and important appointments.
But here’s one weird thing about life: I might miss a phone call, but I always make it to pilates and my hair appointments. It’s the other stuff — meetings, answering your email, remembering to pay my cell phone bill on time — that pose a challenge for me.
There’s always time to read or watch TV, but there are never enough hours in the day to answer LinkedIn requests for my time. There’s plenty of time for surfing on the internet and reading Melissa’s blog, but there’s not enough time to take that e-learning course on blockchain so I can finally understand it a little better.
So, I’m not sure if time management is a challenge or a choice. No, wait, I’m totally sure it’s a choice. The real question is why I’m avoiding important work that matters and, instead, focusing on stupid shit.
Is it because I’m a flawed and lazy human being? Yes.
Am I self-sabotaging? Probably.
My time management skills are an ongoing theme in my life, and no corporate initiative or program will make me — as an employee or a business owner — focus on work that matters until I choose to focus on work that matters.
I suspect that many employees are like me, deliberately distracted to avoid doing work that makes us uncomfortable for reasons that don’t make sense in the conscious world. Maybe employers can encourage people like me to explore why we make counterintuitive choices with our time and attention. After all, if we’re not doing work that matters, we’re not doing anything at all.
The good news is that Melissa will talk about individual accountability in the final video. I can’t wait. If anything, that video has an audience of one and it’s me.