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Open your calendar and take a good hard look at it – if it’s anything like most people’s, it’s crazy jam-packed-busy. You can’t possibly add even one tiny To Do to your list, there’s just no time! You’ve all but given up working on the goals that are important to you because there is something always more pressing, something more urgent that demands your time.

We don’t manage time

Sound familiar? I don’t know anyone that doesn’t struggle with “time management.” I actually hate that phrase – we don’t manage time as much as we prioritize it. How are you prioritizing yours? Are you taking on the tasks that will get you more visibility? New opportunity? Greater influence?

My clients are business owners, sales leaders, and high potential corporate staffs from a wide array of industries but they all have this in common: They have made increasing their sway a priority, and I can tell because it’s on their calendar.

Show Up Step Up & See It Through

One way it shows up is as a volunteer commitment to their industry or line of business. When I was a high-tech marketer, I was active in both the Chicago Women in Technology (industry) as well as both the American & the Business Marketing Associations (line of business.) When I pivoted careers, I became active in the National Speakers Association and Toastmasters.

And by being active I don’t mean just joining. Increasing sway requires more than merely attending meetings. That’s the price of entry, not a difference-maker. People with greater sway raise their hand to volunteer. They take on assignments and they get them done. They show up, step up and see it through.

This past week, in front of a room full of my peers, I was awarded the 2017 NSA President’s Spirit Award. Not because I’m better than anyone else. Not because I’m special or unique in any way. But because when I said I’d do something, I did it. Sounds simple enough, right? That’s you all day long. It’s who you are, it’s how you roll!

The time is now

Here’s the thing – that behavior is expected of you at work, but hustling for the greater good of your industry, your profession, even your community… that’s magic. When we share our talent in this way, circles are expanded. Respect is earned. Reputations are forged. Personal brands are defined. Careers are catapulted.

My challenge to you this week: Look at your calendar with fresh eyes – what do your commitments say about your priorities? If you’re not making time to increase your sway, the time to start is now.