I heard a speaker at a recent conference discuss the idea of elevating in your work through making what the Kansas Leadership Center calls 'conscious choices'. You see each of as we go about our day can easily fall into a pattern of going back to our default behaviors and not even thinking about what we are doing or why. We do the work in front of us because it is comfortable and easy for us.
I suppose there are times where putting your head down and simply getting some work done can be a good thing. However, when you are working on teams and you are trying to empower your teammates and make progress on difficult challenges, it becomes very important that each of us are working on the right areas of work. If I go into a default behavior simply because it is what I am used to, but that particular work is something that a team member can do, then I am really hurting the team by in some ways taking their work and by completely neglecting the work that is uniquely mine.
So, I tried an experiment today in which I made a list at the beginning of the day of tasks that I alone had either the ability or authority to do and then I made conscious choices to press into that work. I'd love to say I never was interrupted or that I didn't slip into some default behavior, but for the most part I went down the list and accomplished or made progress on 'my unique work'. And guess what? It felt great!! And I think my team enjoyed the fact that I wasn't poking my head in their business and getting into 'their work'. I don't need to default and go back to the work that I used to do, and they can't do the work that I need to do. We each simply did 'our work'.
We will see how tomorrow goes, but I am encouraged and I encourage you to press into the work that is uniquely yours and make conscious choices to focus on making decisions on items that only you can make decisions on. You'll make more progress and I think your teams will thank you.