A 1 min conversation that totally changed my thinking and perspective

Learn how a casual conversation reshaped my perspective on time management and the importance of focusing on impact over hours worked.
Written by
Published on
June 26, 2024

Recently, I had a brief conversation with a coworker that completely altered my thinking.

She asked how much time I spent on my side hustle each week and, when I told her, she responded with a surprise, "Wow, that’s a lot."

This made me pause.

Am I working that much?

To me, it feels like I’m putting in a lot of effort, but not as much as I could or should be.

This seemingly small, casual conversation struck a chord with me. It made me go home and think deeply about what I was doing and how I was going about it.

I reflected on what activities energize me and which ones drain me.

I considered how much time I’ve been spending on specific tasks within my side hustle emailemu.com versus leisure activities.

This ultimately led me to ponder the relationship between time and impact.

A Broken Way of Thinking

The traditional 9-to-5 work culture tells us we need to put in 40 hours a week at our jobs to accomplish everything and make an impact on the business. Many companies have a toxic “butts in seats” culture, where as long as you show up, sit at your desk, and do “something” for the full eight hours, you’re meeting expectations.

Why This Is Broken

The reality is most people spend only a portion of their time on meaningful work. The rest is often wasted on time-sucking activities with little impact, like watching YouTube, chatting with coworkers, browsing Facebook, or reading news articles.

Why I Started Off the Same

At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I focused less on what exactly I was working on as long as it was related to my project, emailemu.com.

I did this to build the habit of working on something consistently without giving up—something I struggled with for a while.

Initially, this approach was great for gaining momentum and building consistency. However, after a while, it started to feel like I was just working to fill up my time and feel accomplished. On days when I worked “all day” but felt like I got nothing meaningful done, it was draining.

Shifting Focus to Impact

This is where impact comes into play. Rather than working on something just to fill my time, I try to focus on activities that make the most impact on my goals and business. Tackling a large task that I know will have a big impact, even if it takes weeks to complete, is far better than finishing a small, meaningless task.

For me, I’m realizing that there’s a target user pivot coming, and I need to shift my energy to make those users happy and test some early theories.

The Outcomes

This shift has helped me be more intentional with my time and less stressed. It allows me to focus better by reducing the number of things fighting for my attention. It’s allowed me to fall back in love with the process.

Final Note

The next time you are looking to work on things don’t just fill your time, but rather focus on impact. This might take 1 hour this might take 20. Focus on the outcomes your activities produce rather than the time inputted.

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