Completing a task, however small, like painting a table or cleaning your house can give you a great feeling, boost your confidence and give you a sense of achievement. It is the same feeling you can have when you are raking up the hours in the office and checking off most of the things on your todo-list. You feel productive and satisfied, you feel like you are doing work, purposefully, but are you really making progress?
The question I would like to ask you is this; are you taking action to stay in motion? Or are you taking action to make progress towards your goals?
Time is our most valuable asset and it passes us by incredibly fast. Even though we know that we only have limited amount of this precious good, we still are masters at letting it pass us by doing busy-work. Doing the same work, day-in day-out, having meetings, running projects, reading up on the latest developments in your field and consuming bits and pieces of content. It can give you a false sense of progress, but it does not help you to actually move forward.
Be deliberate about spending your time
Think about this: say you work 10-12 hours on an average day, you come home, watch some TV to settle down or maybe go to the gym, talk to a friend and then go sleep. All you are doing is eat-sleep-work-repeat. There is nothing deliberate about working and spending your time this way. Sure, if that is what you want and are satisfied with, then by all means, go for it! But if you are serious about your goals – your dreams – then do not look for the next productivity hack to get more done in less time, but treat time as the precious asset that it is and focus on what is most important, first.
What if you would take 5 minute every now and then to take stock of your situation and to ask yourself this question: Am I really spending my most valuable asset the way I want to?
- How did you spend your time the past month? Quarter? Year?
- Does this align with the things that you want to do and your goals?
- Are you in motion? Or are you actually making progress?
- What was your last significant achievement that made you feel proud?
I revisit these questions on a regular basis to see if what I am doing right now still aligns with what I want to do. Instead of trying to be more productive in the same amount of time I try to be more deliberate on how I spent my time. Cut off the fat, saying no to certain opportunities and most importantly: Never mistake motion for progress or achievement.
[WARNING: being serious about how you spend your most precious asset might stir up your life]
How will you spend your time today?