For Dr. Who and his TARDIS - the fictional machine that propelled the good doctor through time and space - time is malleable. However, in the real world, for the rest of us, one thing we all have in common - day in and day out, we all have the same amount of time; the variation comes with how we choose to use it.
What is the quality of your busyness?
It is very easy to be busy and work hard; yet, there is an essential difference between being busy for the sake of just getting things done and being productive in order to make meaningful change. When we do something regularly - like our daily commute - our brains tend to shift into autopilot; similarly, when we habitually approach our work from the safety of our comfort zone, we are working without much awareness to the task at hand or to our long-term goals.
To be productive and to make meaningful change requires a much greater focus and a higher level of mental energy. You are pushed to work beyond your comfort zone and to continually look for new challenges as you strive for improvement and for ever greater success … in whatever way success is defined for you.
Retired sprinter, Usain Bolt - an eight-time Olympic gold medalist and a multiple world record holder - didn’t become a track legend by training within his comfort zone and by just sticking to doing what was easy and comfortable. He dreamed big and trained hard. But he did more than just train hard: he trained deliberately and with great focus. Like Bolt, successful business leaders know what they want to achieve and they know that the path to success requires them to constantly seek purposeful and focused improvement in their business.
What can we learn from successful athletes to help us turn our busyness at work into more focused and meaningful productivity leading to positive change?
- Practice our work skills in the same way an athlete practices his sport - daily, with deliberate focus and with an eye on our goals.
- Continually push ourselves to move outside of our comfort zones in order to discover what lies beyond and to keep our minds engaged and active.
- Work with purpose while keeping a positive and resilient mindset. Just as athletes get injured, setbacks at work happen; it’s how we choose to face them that makes all the difference.
- Create goals that motivate us to work hard and inspire us to bring meaning to our life and to our business.
We may not have access to Dr. Who’s time machine but in the end, even if we had the TARDIS and we could travel through time, would the outcome be much different if we used that extra time to do the same things in the same old ways?
We don’t actually need to find more time … we just need to use the time we have differently. By creating a habit of deliberate daily practice focused on meaningful work, we can bring about productive change with tangible results and measurably improved outcomes.
What would you do differently if you could create a different future for yourself? You can do that any time. You can start doing that now.
To your Success, Differently,