Values Based Time Leadership
Values Based Time Leadership - January 6th and 13th at West Hill United
On both January 6th and 13th, George Oliver will be leading a workshop during the Perspectives segment of our service. The workshop is called Values-Based Time Leadership. This is NOT called Time Management because, as George will explain, time can’t be managed. Neither can people. But time is our most important asset and should be led if we want to have an enjoyable life and leave a legacy. The workshop’s primary goal is to share how we can all spend more of our time on the things that we value in life. And how we can - to the extent possible - get rid of the things we don’t value. Session 1 is all about sorting out what we, as individuals, think is important. There are no wrong answers; whatever you think is important is what IS important to you. Session 2 on the 13th is all about planning and putting into practice what we learned on the 6th.
Traditional Time Management is all about accomplishing more and being efficient. Efficiency is a pretty silly measure of success if you are being efficient in accomplishing things you don’t value. Because efficiency is measured in terms of outcomes produced by a given level of resources - like gas mileage - even if we don’t value it. On the other hand, Time Leadership is about having shorter to-do lists, NOT working on unimportant things, taking care of yourself and being effective where effectiveness is measured as achieving what you care about with the things that are real…like people, WHUC, your health, learning, contributing to causes, and laughing. There’s not a tombstone in the world with an epitaph that says “I wish I had spent more time in the office.”
Time Management is like the Gross National Product (GNP). If GNP growth was a good measure of success, a large % increase would mean we’ve solved our problems. But it is frequently the case that the chase for GNP growth has led us to many disasters as is the case of the deteriorating environment. Bobby Kennedy once eloquently spoke about how GNP measures economic output very well, but has nothing to say about what matters - our health, happiness, the state of our families and so on. The tiny Asian country of Bhutan has developed a Gross National Happiness Index (GNHI) measurement and takes it very seriously. It covers measures of income inequality, the health of the people, their happiness, rates of homelessness and so on. And when measures of, for example, health deteriorate, they take action. Bhutan develops the GNHI by surveying every citizen annually. Time Leadership takes a holistic approach to Time much like Bhutan’s approach to Happiness.
In Session 1, we will be discussing a LOT of topics including:
- How Time Leadership is not Time Management Why New Year’s resolutions don’t work
- The three things you must do for a chance to have a long life - no guarantees
- How much of what happens to change our lives is unplanned and out of our control
- How to identify and stand on what Einstein called the “shoulders of giants”.
- Margaret Atwood’s cure for procrastination
- If you hate getting up, how to stay in bed longer without being late
- The advantages of getting up early
- Using the time you feel least energetic (e.g., after a big lunch) productively
- The important relationship between a lost plane, your dirty dishes and scuba diving.
- How to identify what you value.
- Special attraction: Gordon Lightfoot will be appearing with wise words.
Your homework for Session 1 is simple…you’ve already done it:
- Think about who has had a good influence on your life and why
- Think about what your important values are (e.g., sports, family, friends, the environment). Keep the bar high…Ice cream is not a value…you may like it but…
- Write down the challenges you have with time (e.g., not enough time for exercise)
- Optionally, think of the tricks you’ve used to spend more time having a ‘rich’ life where things you don’t value take up as little time as possible.
- If you want to send me a question re your time challenges, send an email to George Oliver. The source will be kept confidential. We will try to cover as many as possible, most likely in Session 2. If there are lots of questions we can hold over to a weeknight session to continue the conversation.
Homework for Session 2
1. Create a simple list of your values or, alternatively, develop a Credo. The latter is hard at first. Here’s an example; George’s Credo that he shared with us.
“Through intellectual understanding, emotional commitment and thoughtful action, I will improve the ‘machine’ (i.e., physical and mental health), love Eileen and my family/friends, learn, laugh, work meaningfully, enable & support ‘causes’ & people — all while ‘walking softly’ on this Earth.”
He has been refining it every year for many years….it changes - if only a little - over time.
2. Think of the things that you want to stop doing or start doing.
3. Identify the activities (e.g., visiting friends) that give you energy and those that drain your energy (e.g., stuck in traffic).
4. If you have some tricks, tips, techniques or tools related to Time (reducing meetings), prepare to share one.
Think of the 5 D’s: Defend, Ditch, Defer, Delegate and Do. We don’t have a lot of time, but I want to make the session interactive.
As always, family and friends are most welcome to join us!