Your Best Day at Work

“What does your best day at work look like?”

—Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

Image of a woman with a laptop and some papers

What do you typically say when someone asks, “How was your day?”

I usually hear phrases such as, “Not Bad,” “it was OK,” “Pretty Good,” “Awful, Stressful, Chaotic.”

From time to time I also hear from those super-positive, optimistic, people glowing with excitement and enthusiasm about how great their day has been.

How often do you actually believe those folks?

Today’s quote asks us to visualize our best days so we have a benchmark or a beacon of what is possible for the activity in which we spend most of our waking hours.

EXERCISE:

Identify what frustrates you and exacerbates your workdays.

Identify the parts of your day in which you feel energized and strong, when you may even lose track of time.

Given your answers, how can you modify or redesign your day to include less of the first and more of the second?

Applying this exercise on a daily basis for yourself and those in your company can be critical to both individual and organizational success, and a more fulfilling life.

Mindfulness Gives You Time

“Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom.”

—Bhante Henepolo Gunaratana, Sri Lankan Buddhist monk

Image of a pink flower with "Mindfulness" above it

We’ve all heard the phrase, “The choices we make make us.”

Do you agree? Perhaps if we were all able to make even better choices, we would experience the freedom and fulfillment of an even more wonderful life.

Today’s quote suggests that through increased mindfulness and greater self awareness we can all find time to make better, more discerning choices about how we spend this precious resource.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you invest a bit more time on a daily basis to strengthen and build your mindfulness muscle?

If you are new to such practices, consider starting with 5 minutes in the morning or evening in a practice such as meditation, gratitude reflection, or some form of life review, to enhance this skill.

When You Take Your TIme, You Save Time

“When you take your time, you save time.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a watch in a glass bottle

Image from Stepping Stones

How are your investments doing these days? This past year? Since you began your personal investment plans?

What has been the return on your investments?

Given the tangibility and objectivity of money and its ability to be exchanged for products and services, you probably know this number reasonably well.

Time, on the other hand, is a bit more elusive, in that it is often far more difficult to determine exactly how well we spend it. One of my other favorite quotes on this topic is Time is the Coin of Life, suggesting its great importance to our overall success and satisfaction.

Today’s quote coaches us to be far more intentional and thoughtful in our decisions to allocate our time and energies. In doing so, it suggests, we will actually save time by not making poor decisions, false starts, or initiatives that may not optimally serve our visions and values.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can and will you slow down and spend your time more wisely, in order to save time for those most prized and valued activities in your life?

Never too Late to Learn

“It is never too late to learn to be on time.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a swirling clock

Image from Flickr by cea+

Time seems to fly these days, whether or not you are having fun. The pace of life has quickened, jamming our calendars, and stretching our schedules to the limit.

Unfortunately, these challenges come with some negative consequences in the form of emotional, physical, and social stressors.

How do you feel when you expect to be late, or miss an important commitment or deadline? How do you feel when family, friends, or work colleagues keep you waiting or don’t fulfill their promises? What does it cost you, and is it worth the price?

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you simplify your personal and professional worlds by reducing or eliminating the commitments that are simply not a priority? How can these changes provide you the added buffer to not only be on time, but fulfill virtually all of your personal and professional commitments?

Now is the ideal time

“NOW is the ideal time.”

—Author Unknown

Clock with "Make Time for What Matters" written on it

Image from LinkedIn

The first thing that came to my mind when reading today’s quote was, “For What?”

If we stopped there, we would simply be puzzled for a moment and then get on with our day. That, of course, is not the purpose of The Quotable Coach series!

It is powerful statements and the questions they generate that make us do the work of personal inquiry. We then reap the rewards of discovery through what can be revealing responses.

EXERCISE:

Examine your “For What?” answer as it relates to the following areas. Then take at least one step or leap outside your comfort zone to act upon it:

  • An important relationship
  • A work-related matter
  • Your health and fitness
  • Life balance
  • Your finances
  • Faith or spirituality
  • Community
  • A hobby or avocation
  • Travel and Adventure

Feel free to add to this list and let me know what other areas you identified.

This is It

“Act with deep understanding that ‘This is It’.”

—Author Unknown

Image of word "Now" with the "O" as a clock face

Image from Spear Education

One of my favorite quotes from the early years of The Quotable Coach series is “Time is the coin of your life,” by Carl Sandburg. The idea that our time on this planet is finite, and that we allocate or spend our life equity is profound.

What if you were something other than human, whose average life span is 79 years? Here are the average life spans of some other earthly creatures:

Mayfly 1 day Worker Ant 6 months
Worker Bee 1 year Queen Bee 5 years
Bull Frog 16 years Bat 24 years
Camel 50 years Galapagos Tortoise 193 years

EXERCISE:

How can and will you make the most of your time by taking a “This is It” perspective?  Who will you choose to spend time with to live each precious moment you have been given?

Feel free to reply with some of the actions you plan or will continue to take.

one compassionate gift

“Time is one of the most loving and compassionate gifts you can give someone, including yourself!”

—Laurent Carrel, Messages from Melanie

Image from clock-desktop.com

Image from clock-desktop.com

About five years ago, Warren Buffett teamed up with Bill and Melinda Gates in a campaign called Giving Pledge, which has billionaires give away the bulk of their wealth.

Today, more than 130 individuals and couples from over 14 countries have pledged to give at least half of their fortunes to charities and philanthropic causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.

Beyond the monetary gifts, many are also giving away the precious offering of valuable time – which is something we can all consider as we pursue lives of passion and purpose.

EXERCISE:

If time is the coin of life, where and with whom might you spend it more generously, to make a bigger difference in your communities?

Be sure to make time for yourself as well.

Friday Review Time

FRIDAY REVIEW:  TIME

What are your beliefs and practices relative to time?  Here are a few time-related posts you may have missed. Click on the link to read the full message.

QC #1090a

“It wasn’t a waste of time if you learned something.”

 

 

 

 

QC #1090b

“If time were to take on human form, would she be your task master or freedom fighter?”

 

 

 

QC #1090c

“There are people whose clocks stop at a certain point in their lives.”

 

 

 

Busy is a form of lazy

“Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”

-Timothy Ferriss, Author

QC #1046

Timothy Ferris is an American author, entrepreneur, and public speaker, best known for his 2007 best-selling book, The 4-Hour Work Week.

Assuming the average worker puts in 40 hours each week, we would see that Ferris is suggesting we work only 10% of those hours.

To achieve such a breakthrough would clearly cause us to do far less and in many cases stop the majority of our daily tasks.

EXERCISE:

How would decreasing the time you spend in meaningless work and focusing on your most important priorities improve the quality of your personal and professional worlds?

Begin today by ruthlessly cutting out at least one hour of busywork that is adding no real value to your world.

“I am definitely going to take a course…”

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management, just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.”

—Louis E. Boone, U.S. academic author

Photo from Flickr by Jeremy Osterhouse

Photo from Flickr by Jeremy Osterhouse

If you are like most people, time management is an area that could use a bit of improvement. Who doesn’t want to accomplish more in less time? Who wouldn’t want to have more time to enjoy the pleasures of life?

The paradox is that you must invest more time to gain greater mastery in your management of this elusive commodity. Just like investing money usually creates greater wealth, investing time in mastering its allocation and use can pay huge dividends.

EXERCISE:

Please consider the following three resources:

  1. If you only have 15-20 minutes, feel free to download my free workbook on Time Management Strategies and Tactics, or simply reply to this post and I will send it to you.
  2. Pick up and study a copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen
  3. Consider reading The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz