Yesterday, I started the morning with a happy discovery. I thought I had my whole day booked with calls.
When I looked at my calendar, I saw, instead, that I had 3 open hours in the middle of my day with 90 minutes blocked to work on a strategy for a client.
Having a block of time for work feels like a gift, but the truth is, I get derailed very easily.
What would I choose during those 3 hours? Would I spend, as intended, 90 minutes focused on my client, as my calendar read?
Or would I get distracted and unconsciously shift to other more urgent/pressing matters as they came into my email? Would I consciously make another choice, depending on the day’s biggest needs?
At the end of each day, looking at the choices I make provides indication of what I value: it’s evidence, data.
Here’s what happened: a meeting with my company’s directors extended nearly 30-minutes beyond the allocated time due to a staffing issue. I needed to make two more phone calls as a result of that team call. That urgent, but important, need, consumed nearly all of the open time on my calendar.
What evidence did my choice create? In my mind, the choice created important evidence about what I value.
I value my team. If someone on the team is hurting, I must attend to that pain. If our company as a whole is suffering, I must attend to the root causes and make powerful steps forward.
Our company’s health and each individual team member’s effectiveness is absolutely primary. Without healthy team members, we will not be able to serve our clients.
Without effective team members, we will fail on our commitments to clients. If we fail in commitments to clients, we will not retain clients for long. Without clients, our company would not exist.
What evidence will you create with your choices today?
How you use your time, both at work and in off times, is evidence of what you value. If there is a mismatch between your stated values and your choices (or if there is a mismatch with mine), it’s time to re-evaluate. The best way to re-evaluate is to go back to your values. What do you value? Do your choices create evidence of those values?
As you live life in general, you want your choices to align with your personal values. Have you ever written them down? In my company, I want to be sure that our choices reflect our company’s values: growth, responsiveness, generosity, partnership, integrity, flexibility.
I am challenged this week as I choose to be mindful of my values, personal and company. I choose to be mindful that my choices create evidence about what I value.
Tell me something! What choices are you making today? What evidence of your values are you creating? How will you be mindful of making choices that align with your values?
Hat tip to Whitney Johnson for quote image.