Those who achieve executive status know many things about the art of working smarter.

Focus is one such element of achievement and of working smarter. Are you focused?  Alignment is another. I’ve spoken to both of these in my previous Nuggets. [Use my search engine to read previous subjects].

In this Nugget, though, I want to talk about those variables which, when put into an achievement equation, of sorts, will result in helping knowledge workers to achieve or to exceed their career objectives.

If you are a knowledge worker, one way to discover if you are truly focused and aligned in a way that will allow you to achieve your career goals is to take a good, hard look at where you spent, [past tense], your time.  It’s almost as simple and easy as taking your To-Do list(s) and recording how much time you SPENT on each task.

  1. It may be useful to place an H or N, (Helpful or a Not helpful to boosting your career success), alongside each action or task on your To-Do list which you completed to date.
  2. Then, sum total H time and total N time.
  3. If your H time HAS BEEN equal to, or greater than, your N time, then you will LIKELY progress well in achieving your career dreams. You get it. You understand the importance played by focus and alignment in achieving any goal especially your career goals and objectives.

If your time has been dispersed, meaning, if you are spending working time on tasks that will not boost your career success, then it is advisable to look at current and future tasks on your To-Do lists with an eye to either abandoning the ones that are diluting your focus and alignment, or, with the blessings of your boss, to negotiating them for reassignment to other people who are more capable of accomplishing them in a more timely manner or with more skill, or who are more deserving of them.

Keep your future focused on your own higher-value tasks and activities, those activities that will help to sustain and boost your career objectives.  Looking to the recent past can be an excellent gauge of your real-world commitment to remaining focused and aligned. Where you’ve spent (past tense) your time will determine how well you have (past tense) ACTUALLY contributed to your overall career advancement.

Use your H-N lists to regularly re-assess how well you are focused and aligned on your career objectives.