There are two things that shockingly have been the key to my personal productivity in recent years and it is counter intuitive to what I have believed my whole life! Those two things are:

  1. Relax
  2. Give Back

Being able to achieve those two things means that I have to face up to the following facts:

  • There are only 24 hours in a day
  • I have no more (or less time) than anyone else on the planet (world leaders… CEOs….scientists… celebrities…you name it)
  • I can’t do it all…and…if I try to…I won’t do it all well
  • How I choose to prioritize my time defines me
  • You can get more done if you plan out your priorities AND ask for help

This has been harder for me to face up to than you can imagine. Having said that, I feel that taking more time off…relaxing….letting things wash over me and giving back has made me more efficient and effective.

Here are a few Lessons Learned:

1. Taking things one thing at a time…allowing yourself to prioritize, asking for help and letting go of what you can’t control….really easy to say…really hard to do…but if you do…even the unthinkable can melt away.

2. Consistency and tradition are important. They don’t necessarily pay off right away but eventually the time you spend on them and the thought you put into them produce their own rewards. (i.e. exercising, sitting down to eat dinner with family each night, making time to reflect, getting enough sleep, celebrating birthdays…anniversaries & milestones, etc…)

3. Prioritizing the team and engaging them to assist you not only lightens the load for the leader but it also makes it a lot more fun. I genuinely believe that making time for team building (even though you don’t think you have the time) makes for stronger engagement and higher productivity in the end. We all only have 24 hours in the day….it is how you spend it that defines you.

4. Plan ahead as much as you can but don’t be afraid to adjust as the environment or circumstances change. Make lists…review the lists…shamelessly add & discard things on the list.  You have to look above the tree line and continue to assess if what you have planned is getting you…the team…the organization where it needs to be.

Lastly, I saw a short video that was posted by Tony Schwartz and the Energy Project a while ago with the caption attached “How would you really enjoy spending your life?” It is by Alan Watts “What if Money Were No Object”.

It all plays into….

“living the life we were meant to live”

No one else can tell you what that is…how to get it….or how to maintain it. The best we can do is make choices that move us in that direction but not waiting for some mythical magical time to achieve it. We need to find a way to appreciate the small wins each and every day.

So what are YOU waiting for?? Make your 24 hours count and know that you have no more or less time than others…it’s how YOU choose to spend it that counts!

Leadership questions of the week for YOU:

  • What do you think of the 5 facts
    above? Are there any you would add? Any you would take away?
  • What is your favourite example from the 4
    lessons learned?
  • What is your most recent example of “24 hours
    in a day” and thoughts around how you prioritize your time?
  • Do you believe that managing your 24 hours
    each day leads to relaxing more and happiness?
  • Can you name a mentor or person in your life
    that embodies this best?
  • What are your thoughts from the video?

Thanks for reading and remember…..YOU make a difference!

Please continue the conversation by liking…commenting or sharing this article. You can also follow me on twitter @marciedwhite


  • Marcia (Marcie) White

    YOU make a Difference

    Marcie is currently the Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Americas Relationship Director for HP Financial Services (HPEFS). Every day, Marcie strives to bring passion. purpose, high energy and a "get 'er done" attitude to all that she does. A life long learner with 25+ years experience in various industry verticals related to Information Technology and Consulting. Marcie applies her genuine desire to get to know others, her innovative marketing approaches as well as her technical, analytical and engineering qualifications to all aspects of her career.   Marcie holds a Bachelor of Science degree and certificate of Applied Science from Acadia University as well as a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband Jonathan and two daughters Katie (24) and Emily (20).   In her spare time she enjoys writing a blog sharing stories from her leadership journey with each submission challenging the reader with “Leadership Questions of the Week” and the concept that YOU make a difference! (