Finding Purpose and Efficiency in Managing My Time

Have you ever given some thought on how you spend your time at work and in your personal life? Are you spending your hours meaningfully and productively? This is what Sonia Sochova reflected on in the new year, and she shares with us her thoughts on how she spends her time to have a fulfilling life.

by: Sonia Budjacova-Sochova

Sonia SochovaAs what most people do in the new year, we reflect on the year that has passed, the experiences we have had, and what we plan to do in the future. We think about the many ways we can make better use of our time, making sure that we are living full and productive lives both in and out of work.

I am one of hundreds of thousands of IBMers with the great opportunity to work with multinational teams across many countries. I am based in IBM Slovakia, a country in the middle of Europe, but my role in IBM has global responsibilities. I work with people from all over the world, which requires a lot of planning, knowledge of time zones, and constant discipline with my time.

Sometimes when we’re too busy at work and with our personal lives, we think “where did the time go?” not realizing that we have already done so much – and all of these contribute to something worthwhile. As I reflect on how I spend my time, I realized that I can break it down into different moments – all adding up to a productive and meaningful life.

Time To Be Curious – I work in the Talent Acquisition team with a focus on candidate attraction and social media. I am constantly on the internet searching for the hottest trends to attract candidates, what content resonates, and what are the key innovations of recruitment tools, and I look for ways to challenge my brain to design new programs. In order to be successful, I spend a lot of time exploring new things, testing them, and using them to promote fun and help simplify our work.

I also have two children who also teach me to be curious as I spend time watching them and learning how to explore, process, and combine information and ideas to make something fun and useful.

Time To Be Flexible – New projects and tasks come faster than ever before, and we need to apply modern methods and tools – agile, Design Thinking, Mural, Slack, Zoom, so many new things that I did not know existed a year ago and I am now using daily. It is interesting how the environment around us is changing and we just naturally adapt to them. The key is to be open to new things and evaluate what makes life easier and what helps you to achieve better results.

In our company, we have a lot of opportunities to take online training courses for free. The only requirement is to park time in our busy schedule and do it. So if you remain open and flexible to learning and upskilling yourself, the possibilities are endless.

Time To Connect With Reality – In spite of the fact that majority of my working time is in virtual space, I love to meet with people as this energizes and inspires me. This is why I continue to go to the IBM office and discuss projects I am working on with IBMers based in Slovakia. This gives me instant feedback on how people feel and react when they work with the tools or programs I create. Connect with reality, staying on the ground and knowing what people actually want – these help me do my job better.

Time To Be GratefulThere is usually a lot of work, and with so much to do we tend to forget what this is all about. Working at IBM allows me to be in contact with the hottest IBM technologies like Watson, work on global projects, learn a huge amount of new things, improve my knowledge and skills without leaving my home country and family. I am grateful for this opportunity. I am grateful for amazing team I can work from all around the world.

What about you? How do you spend your time to make it more meaningful and productive?

Sonia Sochova is based in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, a country directly in the heart of Europe. She is leading the global IBM Referrals program and partnering with LinkedIn to promote the IBM Talent brand. 12 years proud IBMer and happy mother of two kids. Sonia loves traveling, history and new technologies.

Connect with Sonia on LinkedIn.

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2 thoughts

  1. Peter, thank you for sharing your “time to be” thoughts. I fully agree to be helpful and contribute to knowledge growth is another important element of productive time and nice investment to our future.

  2. Fully agree with the points you make. And I’d actually like to add one: “Time to be helpful” (trying to match your tone). By helping colleagues and sharing expertise and experience, we boost performance and potential for the entire organization – especially if we don’t limit ourselves to being helpful only to our neighbours in the same office or team, but work transparently online – easiest with the help of a social intranet or collaboration tool (like our IBM Connections). But, helping others in this way doesn’t only help them and the enterprise, but also ourselves. In doing so, we put our expertise and attitude on display for all to see, building our reputation as knowledgeable and a person to be counted on. Can’t be bad, can it?

    You could actually say that all your four points, and mine, are all facets on a the same mindset: Work isn’t only to “produce for today, for my department” but also to “invest in the future for myself and for the entire organization”. Being curious (learning), flexible (driving change), connect and be grateful (build relations), helpful (knowledge growth) all have similarities with making financial investments: we don’t know exactly when, which or how much it will pay off, but we know that over time, there is a good prospect of investments being worthwhile.

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