Life, along with all of its wonderful distractions can be overwhelming and will eventually lead a lot of people, at one point or another, down a path that is lacking clarity, purpose, and energy. Laymen's Terms: When you get off track, you don't manage your time well, and as a result, your life lacks cohesion, purpose, and balance.
There is one driving factor that will decide whether or not you avoid this type of cyclical dead zone. What I am talking about is time. The very thing that is said to stop for no one yet also stand still. The grand illusion and absolute. When you take a look at how time can be described, it seems to me there is some confusion about time. But more importantly, some confusion about how we spend our time. I can't tell you how many books and articles I have read about time-management, but have continued to feel there is a missing piece to the puzzle of time. That is, until now.
The Missing Piece
I had the great pleasure of attending a workshop put on by productivity expert, strategic business coach, and best-selling author and contributing writer for Tug of War with Time, Penny Zenker. She travels around the world teaching people the secrets of productivity and time-management, and I had to find out for myself exactly what she knew. Even more importantly, I had to know what she was teaching that was different than the hundreds of time-management tips I had already digested.
What I discovered during my time with Penny, actually kind of blew me away. Where a lot of time management advice fails, or falls short, is that it only addresses how you should manage your time. But what about the behaviors or driving factors that cause you to waste time, or mismanage it in the first place? What about habits that prevent you from being productive? Why stop with the time spent? Why not go one step further and look at why your time is spent how it is? Why not dig into the deeper meanings to get maximum results? Genius. This is the piece I have been missing, and if you're anything like me, the piece you've been missing too.
"I'm just so busy..."
If I had a nickel for every time someone has said to me, "I'm so busy..." or "I just couldn't make time..." I would have more nickels than time. The word 'busy' has become some sort of business badge of honor but in order for you to grasp that you're going to have to shift from that mindset and alter the way you think about time. The thing about having time, is that we all get the same amount and it really comes down to one very important thing. You see, it's not really about more time... or even time at all... but how you show up for that time and the energy you are giving to everything you commit your time to.
In Penny's book The Productivity Zone: Stop the Tug of War with Time she takes you through the 10 core drivers that help you avoid procrastination and perfectionism so you are able to perform in the Productivity Zone.
These 10 drivers are grouped into three core segments:
- Championship Psychology
- Winning Strategies
- Sustainable Results
This is the only resource I've ever found that combines both the skills and the mindset together, in one package, with a focus on making the most of your time, and ultimately your life. Penny has put into words what we already know. A deficiency in any one of the elements will stand between you and your best results. Period. I've never heard time management discussed in these terms before.
Three of Penny's 10 core drivers break this time-management theory down even further, so you can really grasp exactly what to do to better manage your time.
- Purpose: I connect daily with my purpose and the purpose of each activity and how it relates to my personal or company goals.
- Physiology: I am conscious and take care of my physical needs to be my best.
- Language: I am conscious and careful with the words I use and recognize the impact they have on others and myself.
As Penny says, "To live these core drivers is to take a pledge on the principles. This pledge is a reminder of the behaviors that are fundamental to your success... Time never was and never will be a measure of productivity. How you show up for the time you have determines your efficiency."