How we spend our time is essentially how we spend our lives. It’s a very big deal.
For those of us that have busy lives, time is incredibly precious. Sometimes time can feel like the biggest thing you are fighting against. It’s that feeling of rushing to get things done, or confusion and inactivity from having too many things to do and not enough time to do them, or feeling dissatisfied because your life isn’t in alignment with your heart.
Know what I mean?
One of the most common mistakes that I see people make when trying to create balance, time, and energy in their life stems from not being clear on their priorities.
Each and every day, we are presented with endless possibilities of things to do, see, and hear. Often, we aren’t clear on what is more important to do and what is less important to do—both in terms of our overarching priorities and day-to-day priorities. This lack of clarity leads to feeling harried, overworked, or stuck. Once you get clear on these priorities, you can begin to understand the most effective, efficient, and pleasurable ways to spend your time, and create a plan to do so.
Let’s take a look at overarching priorities first. Aligning with your overarching priorities means that you are matching what’s most important in your heart and soul with how you spend your time.
For example, if connecting with family and loved ones is a big priority in your life, yet you’ve set your business up so that you are working seven days a week, then you are going to feel as if something is missing from your life. Or, if traveling makes your heart sing, yet you haven’t taken a single vacation in five years, chances are you are going to feel exhausted and drained.
However, if you can tap into your inner wisdom and get clear on what is most important to you—spending more time on your career or spending more time with family, spending your time traveling or spending your time training for a marathon—then you will have a powerful blueprint for how to live your life.
Now, let’s look at day-to-day priorities. Your day-to-day priorities are the many things you would like to accomplish in any given day, week, or month. When you align with your day-to-day priorities, you make your life and work more efficient, effective and successful.
For example, let’s say you own a business. If you are unclear on your business priorities, you might try to get your newsletter out, return all of your client emails, create a new product, and do your accounting all in one afternoon. Clearly, attempting this will only cause overwhelm and exhaustion. Most probably you would not be able to accomplish it all, and if you did, you’d probably be working until 3 a.m.!
However, if you assess your priorities beforehand, and get clear that you have three urgent client emails to return and that you’d like for your newsletter to go out the following day, then you can plan accordingly and do exactly what you need to do in the right time and at the right pace. You can rest easy that your accounting can wait until next week.
Life offers so many options, and with all of these possibilities, it is easy to lose command of how you spend your time. Yet, how you spend your time is the essence of your life. It’s vital to connect with your inner wisdom to get clear on your overarching and day-to-day priorities so that you can design your life and action steps for joy and success.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to get clear on your priorities:
- What is most important to me?
- What feels missing from my life?
- What are the most important things to focus on in my work-day today?
- What are lower-priority tasks or errands that can wait until tomorrow or next week?