March 16, 2021
Let’s talk about the Time Fantasy.
We desperately crave the extra time to get on top of things and start saying yes to more of the good stuff. But when that time is nowhere to be found, too often a path to burnout seems to be the only legitimate option – (hello late nights and weekend work!)
Insert the Time Fantasy: If I just had these extra windows of time then I could get it all done.
Alluring concept, and yet – total BS.
How many times have you experienced that strange phenomenon of having an unexpected extra window of time pop up, only to find that by week’s end, the work that matters to youmost still isn’t done?
Yes, time is important, of course – and – when we overemphasize it, we miss the underlying issue: lack of a framework.
Without a consistent framework, our schedules remain at the whim of everyone else. Looming deadline? Bump that up. An application for a hot opportunity? Slide that to position three.
It is a reactionary approach. It feels chaotic, because it is. We are stuck in the cycle of overwhelm with no consistent focus. No system to filter, organize and prioritize – a mess.
Instead of focusing on time, we need to focus on intent.
Intention is about the bigger picture, the tangible results or impact that our work will create. It is where the courage to do it differently comes from. When we’re clear on our intention, we will run our tasks through this filter and *prioritize* this way *consistently.* We will organize realistically, be unapologetic in our boundaries, and execute consistently.
Without intention as your foundation, you give everybody else the power to set your priorities.
Now, this isn’t to suggest that you simply just start saying no to everything. (I touched on why this is poor advice in my prior newsletter.) Reclaiming our time (ie our power) need not cost us our reputation. Nor should we have to pass up on opportunities that light us up.
Ironically, reclaiming our time simply mandates that we give up the Time Fantasy. Here’s the thing: managing your time based on urgency, external deadlines and special requests is possible – let’s face it, this is how most of us operate. But for most of us, it is not sustainable. Our goals are way too big for that.
Getting clear on the intention, helps you gain access to a blueprint for preparation. Not just one time prep for the next week’s tasks, but a long term preparation system that allows you to manage over months, quarters, and years.
The real win is when your intention-based structure becomes intuitively integrated into your career life. Productivity becomes a kind of flow state – opening up an entirely new level of impact and success.
We’re able to reclaim the energy that is usually tied up in the reactive cycle of overwhelm.
We can channel that energy into intentional execution – and that is the bedrock of career transformation.
No more Time Fantasies. They are not nice to you, and you deserve better.
You and your work are worth it.