Stop watching the clock and look at your strengths instead

Do you find yourself watching the clock towards the end of the day? If you’re feeling bored and disengaged, it’s time to shift your focus to what you do well.

I’m sure most of us have been in a role where we couldn’t wait for the day to end. I have. I remember the constant clock watching, and how I deliberately avoided tasks that didn’t energise me or give me a sense of achievement.

I shared this recently in a workshop with a group of leaders, whilst discussing leadership styles and strengths. We could all relate to this lack of focus and the avoidance tactics that led to us and our colleagues feeling tired and drained. Although we delivered what was expected, we all noted an overwhelming impression of not personally succeeding because we weren’t giving our all.

When a leader’s not happy, what’s the effect on the team?

We reflected on how we would sit telling ourselves, ‘only 2 more hours left’, and how going to make a drink, filling our water bottle up, or checking social media notifications did nothing to make the boredom go away.

Most importantly, while we sat very impatiently waiting for the day to end, we failed to realise how this was impacting on ourselves and those around us. People rightfully began to question our ability as leaders and our commitment to the organisation and, as our motivation decreased, it had a knock-on effect on our teams.

While this was in the past for me, some of the leaders in the group recognised this was happening to them right now. They already knew they didn’t want to feel like this indefinitely; however, once they were aware of the impact this pattern was having, they wanted even more to break it.

It’s time to change your focus

At this point, I asked the group to think about:

  • What activities are you engaged in when time flies?
  • What activities give you a great deal of satisfaction?
  • What activities are you drawn to?
  • What activities do you learn quickly?
  • What activities can you do to near-perfection?

These questions left some leaders perplexed as they had spent so long focusing on what they didn’t like about their roles, they found it quite hard to switch focus and think of themselves doing something well!

The energy in the room lifted and the group’s body language changed to be more positive and upbeat. The answers to these questions showed them when they were energised and performing at their best, and more importantly how it feels when you switch focus. When they left, the leaders were motivated to go back to work, and come back the following week to learn more about their individual strengths.

Clock-watching is a sure sign that you’ve lost your energy and motivation rather than focusing on your strengths, what energises you, and moving forward to the next challenge.

Once you switch your focus to your strengths, you’ll soon stop watching the clock and quickly improve your contribution at work. By doing what you do best every day, you’ll feel energised, achieve more, and start to wonder where the time’s gone.

I provide a full Strengthscope® assessment and feedback session to help you learn how to utilise your strengths to improve your confidence, motivation and success. My clients tell me this really brings their strengths to life, helping them move forward without the challenges that seemed to be holding them back. If you’re lacking motivation at work find out more today.

“Andrea knows Strengthscope® well and her feedback session added impact to the report and brought the findings into reality for me. Andrea knows how to examine strengths that can help you achieve your aim and by discussing them with you helps you reflect on how you can further build on these, she also has a keen ability to look at what can be holding you back and can help you identify and plan ways of moving forward. Through encouraging feedback and motivational support, Andrea helps you to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and begin to work on them.”

OD professional from Local Government Organisation

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