Technology has influenced and changed the way we live and work. It has touched every facet of human existence except one: Time.
It doesn’t matter how much power technology wields. It can never control time. That is why time is so valuable; once it is gone, we can never get it back. And that is also why success comes to people who use their time wisely.
What are the qualities of these successful people that enabled them to maximize the intrinsic value of time?
1. They are Driven by Values
One of the most valuable and life-transformative lessons I learned was that everything that you do must be deeply-rooted in your values.
What are values? These are the guiding principles that influence the decisions we make every day. Our values are a by-product of the total of our life experiences. From the day we are born, values were indoctrinated to us by the people around us.
Our values are found in a place much deeper and intricate than our DNA. It is in our soul, spirit, and being. That is why values are referred to as “core values”. Our core values are who we are. Therefore, every decision we make must be based on our core values.
People who are driven by values use their time wisely because they subscribe to the principle of “right fit”. They look for opportunities, associations, and relationships that are the right fit with their core values.
They enter into business contracts with clients who share their values even if the expected earnings may not be strong at the start. They know that aligned values will transition the relationship from engagement to a long-term strategic partnership.
They hire people who are the right fit with their organizational culture. It doesn’t matter what the credentials are, if you fit the culture, you’re onboard our team! This is the same ideology of Zappos founder Tony Hsieh.
When people lead by values, everyone moves at the same pace and sets forth toward the same direction.
2. They Know Their Purpose
Individuals who are aware of their purpose look forward to every waking day. They understand why they do what they do. They know the reason that makes them want to get out of bed and get the day started.
According to Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, consumers could not care less about what the label on the product says. All consumers care about is the “Why”.
Your answer to “Why” is your purpose.
So how do you find out the answer to “Why” or your purpose? The answer starts with the “Who”; as in “Who are you?”
Thus, the road to finding your purpose lies in…. you guessed it!
Your core values!
Unless you know “Who” you are, you will not know the “Why” or your purpose.
Why did you get into this kind of business? To make money is not a purpose unless you are managing a non-profit organization.
Why did you get into these relationships? Are you looking for strong, long-lasting relationships or simply connections to get you from point “A” to point “B”?
People who know their purpose use their time wisely because purpose gives them direction. If you do not know your purpose, you are simply wasting your time.
Aligned values and purpose is a very powerful combination because it leads you to your destination; your vision.
3. They Know Their Strengths…
One of the most popular sayings about an organization is that “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. When you set up a business, it should be organized according to the strengths of each person.
Can you imagine what would happen if the accountant was asked to make sales and the sales person was tasked to balance the books?
Even if both people did their best, studied and sought consultation they would not improve to a point that their skills would contribute to the success of the company.
Thus people who use their time wisely focus on functions that best utilize their strengths or core competencies. As another popular saying in business goes, “If you are doing paperwork, you are an employee, not a business owner.”
There is time to learn and hone other skills. But when productivity is your objective, you should allocate your time to activities that best capitalize your strengths.
4. …and Weaknesses
The advantages of knowing your weaknesses mirror those of knowing your strengths:
- You know which areas or functions to avoid.
- It gives you an idea of where you can give opportunities for others whose strengths are your weaknesses.
- It keeps you from getting frustrated.
Old school management thought dictated that a person’s greatest area of growth is his or her area of weakness.
That may be true from a personal standpoint; but in the context of overall productivity, focusing on weaknesses as the stimulus for progress will only leave your growth stunted.
How would you define a weakness?
For me, if I can honestly rate myself as “good enough” in a skill, then that is a weakness. Productivity is never about being “good enough”; it is about being the best at what you do.
One of my favorite sayings is an amalgamation of those two contrasting ideologies: “Your best should be good enough.”