YOUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE
When you're caught in the spin cycle, there never seems to be enough time. You can feel busy AND unproductive. No matter how hard you work, there are always important priorities you didn't have the time to get to. Sound familiar?
You're not the only one experiencing the spin cycle. Your boss, peers and employees are spinning, too. In fact, much of the change, uncertainty and surprise you experience comes from your boss, peers and employees.
Think about your management process. Your boss often shifts your goals. Why? Chances are, they're spinning. Why? Chances are, their boss is spinning. You have competing priorities. Why? Your boss, peers and employees need you. Why? Because they're spinning. Your plans are constantly changing. Why? (You get the point.)
It feels like spinning plates, and you're hoping you don't drop one. When you're stuck in the spin cycle, your plate is overflowing with the priorities and needs of those above, beside and below you. It feels overwhelming. When you're stuck in the spin cycle, there never seems to be enough time, BUT....
Time is not your most valuable resource - your attention is. Time is spent either productively or unproductively. When stuck in the spin cycle, much of your time is unproductive (because you can't get unstuck).
How you spend your time is a matter of focus. We become whatever we're paying attention to. William James wrote in Principles of Psychology, "My experience is what I agree to attend to." When your attention is focused on the spin cycle (change, uncertainty, surprise, stress and breakage) that becomes your experience and determines how you operate. Your business process becomes secondary.
The ability to manage your attention is more important than time management, because attention determines how time is spent. The vital psychological resources needed negotiate the spin cycle include hope, confidence, resilience and optimism. These are forms of mental toughness. To develop mental toughness, you have to understand how your brain works.