The way you use your time is the way you live your life.
Assimilating new skills and knowledge (attaining mastery) and allowing your creativity to blossom – these are activities that require a different kind of time and attention than our busy schedules sometimes allow.
Earlier this week I wrote about how distractions and interruptions impact our minds and memories. Today I’d like to focus on two recent posts that offer ideas about how we can counter that and reclaim our power (and our time).
So, one key, according to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, is to find spots in your schedule and hold them open for nothing. Quite literally, he means schedule nothing!
As the CEO of a large and vibrant organization, his time could easily be spent in back-to-back-to-back meetings. But, as he notes, that is neither sustainable nor effective. Time for assimilating, for planning, for letting things percolate – that simply isn’t there if you are constantly busy. It may look productive, working that way, but it isn’t.
Here’s how he sums it up:
Above all else, the most important reason to schedule buffers is to just catch your breath. There is no faster way to feel as though your day is not your own, and that you are no longer in control, than scheduling meetings back to back from the minute you arrive at the office until the moment you leave. I’ve felt the effects of this and seen it with colleagues. Not only is it not fun to feel this way, it’s not sustainable.
The solution, as simple as it sounds, is to periodically schedule nothing. Use that buffer time to think big, catch up on the latest industry news, get out from under that pile of unread emails, or just take a walk. What ever you do, just make sure you make that time for yourself — everyday and in a systematic way — and don’t leave unscheduled moments to chance. The buffer is the best investment you can make in yourself and the single most important productivity tool I use.
Another time challenge in our busy world is finding time to become ‘good enough’ at the skills necessary to thrive and be productive. Assimilating and acquiring skills requires practice, and yet practice, at the outset, can feel like unproductive activity.
So, I was fascinated to come upon this brief piece on Lifehacker: Learn Anything in 20 Hours With This Four Step Method. In this interesting piece, Josh Kaufman examines skill acquisition and what it takes to become good at something. He addresses the learning curve, and how people move from knowing nothing, through ‘good enough’ to mastery. And what he posits is that we can move from being incompetent to being ‘reasonably good’ in 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice.
That’s about 45 minutes a day for a month. The video below is Josh Kaufman’s full TED Talk, describing his methodology.
Empowering, isn’t it? Imagine what you can do if you use your schedule to deepen your time with some practice!
And would you like to learn more about one thing that may stand in the way of your blossoming (and start changing it)? My new Exercise and Guide Book titled, “‘These Critical Voices Are Driving Me Crazy!’ How to Use Positive Self-Talk to Save Your Sanity and Your Time!” offers proven techniques and practical tips to quiet those disruptive, haunting and hostile voices of self-criticism.
We really can make conscious choices about the kinds of messages that we give ourselves. And as an added bonus when you purchase this Exercise and Guide Book you can quickly get back your investment. You’ll find all the details at the end of the Guide Book.
So, this Exercise and Guide Book gives you a step-by-step path to take back your power and quiet the self-criticism that saps your confidence, your energy, and your time.
Don’t let those hurtful voices hold you hostage! Click the link to get started!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have no material connection with any of the products mentioned in this post (other than my own) and have not received any compensation for sharing this content.