A lot of people work part-time. Here is how you can tell if you are one of them.
Part of the time you are at work you are working on what is important. Part of the time you are working on what is urgent. The important work should be where you spend your time and energy, but the urgent can easily crowd out the important. Problems don’t age well, and you have to deal with urgencies.
But if the work you are doing isn’t important and/or urgent, then you are working part-time.
- If your email is open while you are working, you are working part-time. The constant and never-ending chime that informs you that someone else wants your attention isn’t your real work. There is no one who derives meaning and purpose in their life by reacting to email. If your full attention goes to your email every few minutes, you are working part-time.
- If your web browser is open and you are on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you are opening yourself up to distractions, almost all of which provide no value to you, won’t help you win new clients, and invite you to chase some novelty down the rabbit hole. If you spend time here instead of your real work, you are working part-time.
- If you get roped into water cooler chatter about this and that, or if you get caught up in the latest gossip about that one guy who did that one thing that one time, then you have decided that your fear of missing out on a mildly amusing story should override what’s paramount. That’s what part-timers do.
- If your job includes the responsibility of making outbound calls and you made a total of 10 outbound calls in a day, then you are working even less than part-time.
Being a part-timer isn’t about the fact that you are being paid to produce outcomes. It has nothing to do with your work hours. Focus is as important for those who work for the company as it is for those who are entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur working 70 hours might just as easily be a part-timer as someone being paid by Big Company, Inc.
Time is the only thing you have that can’t ever be replaced. You decide whether you spend or invest that time. When you spend time, it is gone forever, with nothing to show for it. When you invest your time, you get a return on that investment (and the down time you use to recover is a necessary and worthwhile investment).