Focus on the Assignment, Not the Clock

Focus on the Assignment, Not the Work Week

The only time to have an eye on the clock is to meet a predetermined deadline or company policy. Otherwise watching the clock is ineffective. Focus on the assignment, not the work week. Focus your attention on the assignment at hand, not the number of hours you put in.

When we get our eyes off the desired outcomes, we tend to lose momentum. When we remain focused, the task tends to go more smoothly and get accomplished in good time.

If you want to accomplish big goals you need to focus. Be very clear what it is you need to do and keep moving forward on the project. If you want to get it finished and get home, watching the clock or calendar will only slow you down. Focus on the assignment and watch it progress faster.

 We choose to play not to lose because we believe our emotional survival is at stake. We choose to play to win in order to learn, grow and thrive. Although it is not often that black and white, the critical moments or our lives and careers often come down to a choice between the two: Am I going to play to win or am I going to play not to lose?  Larry and Hersch Wilson, Play to Win

Five Days of Action

Day One

When the goal is the clock, the desired outcome is obscured and is reached more slowly. When the goal is the goal, the clock moves into the background and faster time with higher quality results can be made. Think seriously about this today.

Day Two

Try taking off your watch today. Cover the clock and any time display on the computer. Now do your work. Focus fully on achieving your priority. See what you notice at the end of the day. You will have achieved more high quality work in less time.

Day Three

Change your relationship with time today. Switch from time management to priority and energy management. Watch your energy level, not the clock. Work on the priorities when your energy is at its peak. This will be a big switch, but it can be done. Resolve to do it.

Day Four

Unless there is good reason to remain clock centered, start your key leaders down the path of priority and energy management versus punching in and out according to a clock. You will be much more aware of the results that are important and how best to reach them.

Day Five

Once again, be mindful of your relationship to time today. What needs to change to set you on a new course? Take the experiments of the last few days and start to turn them into a system that serves you.

Whether dealing with burnout, planning a new initiative or refocusing the organization on priorities, sometimes one conversation can change everything. If you think a conversation might be of benefit to you, one or your leaders or your organization, I invite you to contact me.