“Clarity affords focus.” ~ Thomas Leonard
A few months ago I wrote about shifting my approach from time management to time investment in the article “Time To Do What Is Important”. I wrote:
“Over the next few months, I’m going to observe how I:
- Invest time in building a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
- Invest time in enjoying the present.
- Invest time in people and projects destined to continue into a future I will never see.”
Well, I have been observing! And guess what? It’s easier said than done!
During the Thanksgiving 2017 weekend, I had fun enjoying the present with my family in Central Ohio inside Hocking Hills State Park. We spent many hours outdoors. For some of those hours, we wandered through the woods behind our cabin. We also spent a few hours hiking through two of the park’s famous trails: Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave.
We didn’t travel very far on any trail because we were walking with two toddlers. They were more interested in the little things along the way than the distance walked. Mia, in particular, was very interested in the bugs. Can you see the ladybug on her arm in the photo below? She loved that ladybug!
I had ample time to invest in building a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Internet access was scant. We went to bed when we were tired. We ate when we were hungry. We enjoyed being together.
But when I returned to work in December, time investment merged back into time management. I slid back into a familiar routine of an overbooked calendar and endless meetings. What happened to my resolve? What happened to my desired paradigm shift?
Here’s what happened: I didn’t clarify where and on what I wanted to invest my time. So, the focus of my attention was too wide. My calendar was bursting at the seams. And as a result, I short-change myself when it came to building a healthy mind, body, and spirit. I realize now that if I am going to make this paradigm shift, I need to pare down, delegate, and/or just say no. I need to refine my focus. Rather than be discouraged, I am encouraged to press on with this effort to reframe how I use my time.
What types of changes do you need to make to be a more effective leader?
(photo credits: Freeman family iPhone photos, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, November 2017)