We’ve all been there.
You get to the end of the day and you’ve not done any of the things you wanted to do. Instead, you’ve spent the day distracted, running from appointment to appointment, doing everything for everyone else, attending to the urgent.
You’re spent. You’ve been going all day. Yet you don’t really feel like anything got done.
The only way to make sure that what matters to you actually makes it into your day is to make sure it makes it into your day.
If you wait for the space to open up in your schedule so that suddenly there will be space for what matters most to you, you will be waiting forever.
Making sure what matters gets on the schedule (and actually happens) requires you to identify what matters to you.
For me it’s my family, my own well-being, writing/creating content, and my friends.
What is it for you? Write it down. I’m serious.
Be sure this is what’s most important for you, not for your family, for your mother, for society, or for your friends. Just because someone else thinks something should be important to you doesn’t mean it should.
Once you have clarity there, identify the specific tasks and activities that relate to the areas you’ve identified as your priorities.
For me these include writing my blog every week, spending time with Penelope, Mike, and my extended family, moving my body and taking my vitamins, talking to my girlfriends, and reading books that inspire me.
Then, block the time off in your calendar for the things that matter.
Look at your schedule at the beginning of the week and put the time in for the activities that are related to your priorities.
Then schedule everything else around those things.
This seems obvious, I know, but are you really doing it? I found that I often wasn’t. The week would end and I would be like: Wait a second. How has it been 7 days since I moved my body? Why am I trying to squeeze writing a blog into the 20 minutes before our team needs it to get it out to our community?
Left to the default, your time will never be your own. The only way to make your time your own is to own it.
As a recap:
1. Decide what matters.
2. Identify what daily/weekly activities relate to what matters.
3. Block the time out for those things and schedule everything else around them.
Might you get less done from a traditional “productivity” perspective? Maybe. Might you disappoint some people? Almost definitely.
But your life will be filled with what matters. So how much you did or how many people you pleased won’t feel like it matters as much.
A life filled with what matters is a life well lived. And the only way to make sure you have a life like this is to do it on purpose.
What are your top priorities? What are the activities associated with those things? How do you make sure they get on your daily calendar? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!