How do you keep your head above water in the sea of meetings that toss and turn you from one focus to another? Without space to think you are trapped in the dark depth of “doing”. This is a place that drowns creativity, ideation, strategic thinking and proactive decision making; all qualities required to drive your career success.
Hard Work Isn’t Enough
It is so easy to get caught up in the constant ebb and flow of the day-to-day grind. We all do it. I’ve had some variation of this conversation with clients from C-suite to entry level and as a business owner, I have this conversation with myself regularly. What I have learnt is that without a success space, you become a doer not a leader, and those career-defining ideas sail right past you.
I’ve been a doer; in fact, I’m a great doer. I’m reliable, hard-working, have excellent attention to detail and love to talk about doing the doing. Doing is my comfort zone. In my past life as a marketer, I got promotion after promotion by doing the doing until one day the promotions stopped. It was a rude awakening that my hard work wasn’t enough on its own. I now had to deliver a vision, strategic plans, and somehow carve out time to foster team growth to make it all possible.
Create an Empowered Space
Like many of my clients, I had to find the right space to learn, think, and ideate. This I call my “Success Space”. The time I spend in my space empowers me to have a relevant and fresh voice, to bring career-defining ideas to life, to showcase my capabilities, and to build my brand.
For anyone wanting to bring their A-game, creating success space is critical. Here are some ways to remain focused on delivering the results that matter:
- Get clear on your priorities and block your calendar for all to see – make this a routine to help manage expectations
- Story-tell what you are doing and why to your key stakeholders to avoid interruption and to showcase your leadership mindset
- Push-back (politely and firmly) when meetings get booked over your blocked time
- Champion stand-up meetings and reduced meeting times with clear agendas and action lists for time efficiency and accountability
- Be willing to say ‘no’
- Trust and delegate to give growth opportunities to members of the team
- Identify the outcomes you will create with your success space
- Work away from your desk in an inspired area for maximum output
- Use a visual sign at your office (one client used a bright orange road cone!) that tells people you are in the zone and not to be disturbed
- Share the results of the time spent in your leadership space and create buy-in, excitement and momentum.
Teach People What’s Important
We teach people how to treat us. If we don’t have clear priorities that we value and are willing to fight for, no one else is going to value them either. Teach people what is important to you, make the time, and set yourself up for a new level of focus and success.
Final note, take small steps. The change can be a little jarring for the people around you but trust me, once they see the success you’re creating, they’ll be carving out some success space too!