When I first started working, I was convinced that this boiled down to time management. Somewhere between taking on a Corporate Athlete course at P&G and reading _The Power of Full Engagement _by Tony Schwartz and James E. Loehr, I had an aha moment that made me realise time management is really just basic hygiene. It’s a task that should be done anyway. What really made overachievers more effective was the energy they showed up with during this time.
To take a step back, here’s what I mean by energy: Growth on a philosophical level happens from the bottom up. For example, in terms of physical growth, children get taller and larger with time. For energy, transformation happens from the top down where the values you hold dear transform other facets of your mental, emotional and physical self.
Before getting into how you can maximise each block of time, you first need to get clear on what you want to get out of life. By this I mean having clarity on what your purpose is and what it is you truly value. These key values will then be anchors for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states which then help you to bring focus to everything you do.
Take some time to write down four to five values or pillars that keep you grounded. For me, it’s family, health, career, knowledge, and lastly, the one that ties the first four together, practising what I preach. These values then form what drives how you spend 24 hours each day.
To illustrate: my health has been super important to me for the past 15 years. Because I wanted to get fitter, I started taking long distance running very seriously. With the time I put in, I went from someone who couldn’t even run five kilometres to completing many half and full marathons. I also take my vertical growth within my career very seriously. My family knows that they’re the very reason I work but have been flexible over the past decade, moving across four countries as I took on multiple new assignments and opportunities. In valuing knowledge, I’ve pushed myself to keep learning and I make time during my day to do so.
Your values will of course look different from mine. It comes down to what you view a ‘successful’ life looks like. And to borrow a quote I chanced on in a magazine that has stuck with me for years, ‘there is no everlasting success in business without success in the business of living life.’ So, take the first step and get clear on what you want to focus on so that you can start building your ‘successful’ life and bring 100% to everything you do.
I acknowledge that most of what I shared so far might seem like common sense – and I agree. The tough part, really, is putting it into practice and returning to the pillars when you’re forced to make a decision. And choosing to bring 100% to everything you do again and again.
To view the full content, sign up for a free account and unlock 3 free podcasts, power reads or videos every month.
CIO, Asia | Former Global CIO, SK-II
Sephora (LVMH) | Procter & Gamble