Learning how to prioritize and make time for what’s really important in life is a challenge. Life goes so quickly, and the older I get, the faster life seems to go.
Because of this fact, I’ve become hyper-sensitive on making time for what’s important to me in my life. Are you making time for what matters to you?
It’s a little too easy to get stuck in a rut in both your personal and work life. Many of us live as if we are a hamster on a wheel simply repeating the same day-every day. We get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, and go to bed. The next day we do it all over again, just like in the movie “Groundhog Day”.
There will always be other things that we feel need to be done, but it seems that we complain about how we never seem to have enough time for it all. Finding time to work on the more meaningful parts of life somehow get put on the back-burner which makes learning how to prioritize even more important.
Think about the spheres of life: Career, health, family, and friends. Do you make time in your day to find balance in all spheres or are you giving one or two spheres more attention than the other?
How much time do you spend on the most important aspects of your life – those activities that fulfill your life purpose? Has your life changed considerably in the last year? The last 10 years? At your current rate of progress, where will you end up 10 years from today?
Do you want to learn how to prioritize better?
Here are some ideas to help you find a little more balance. Try these timesaving activities to free up part of your day for more important matters:
- Create a to-do list each day. I like to do this at the end of the evening when the family is in bed. Spend a few minutes each evening and make a list for the following day. Decide how you’re going to spend your time each day. Include tasks that address both short-term needs and long-term objectives.
- List your focus for the next year. Often people do this activity once per year but is best to do this more often. It might be to get a promotion, increase your skill on the piano, or become a more effective parent. It’s not possible to reliably create a fantastic life or accomplish amazing things without being aware of them beforehand.
- Knowing your purpose for the next 12 months will prevent you from wasting your time on less important tasks. Staying focused is a whole other issue in and of its self.
- Focus on progress and forget perfection. This is difficult for those dealing with perfectionism issues. This runs deep in my genetics and see it play out in myself and my children. Perfection takes too long. It’s also not much better than doing the job well. Perfection is often used as an excuse to spend too much time on a task. Do the task at the appropriate level and move on.
- Take a moment several times each day to evaluate your progress and activity. Are you spending your time wisely? Is there a better action you could be taking? It’s easy to be caught up in meaningless tasks. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything meaningful.
- It’s time for everyone to give up the notion that multitasking is efficient. Studies repeatedly show that multitasking is less efficient. Just because you’re better at multitasking than everyone else doesn’t mean it’s the optimal solution. Do one thing and then move on.
- Notice how you waste time. When you’re bored, how do you amuse yourself? What do you do when you procrastinate? Social media, television, web surfing, and texting are the more common activities. Notice how you waste time and recognize when it happens.
- The sooner you’re able to stop yourself, the better the odds of success.
- Just say “no.” Yikes, this is hard. I have trouble saying no. How about you? You have heard this before and it’s nothing new but oh so important! That simple word can be challenging to utter. We don’t like to disappoint others. Once you have a reputation for saying “yes,” the requests never stop. You’ll be driving your neighbor to the airport and get stuck baking the cake for every office celebration.
- Refusing requests is a way of respecting your time and goals. Avoid biting off more than you can chew. Be helpful, but not at the expense of your own life. Sometimes people won’t say no for fear of not being liked. Get real! If someone is going to get ticked off at you that easily then they really shouldn’t be at the top of your priority list.
- Schedule time for yourself. Outside of work, meals, and sleep, most of us fail to schedule adequately. If your dream is to author a novel, build time into your daily schedule to sit down and write.
- Declutter your life. I totally LOVE this part! I am a bit of a minimalist though. The feeling that I get is so freeing! Sure, get rid of the extra junk on the shelves, but there’s more to a full decluttering. Drop the activities, people, thoughts, and ideas that take up time or energy without providing an acceptable level of return. Let go of the things that prevent you from focusing on your life purpose.
Stop squandering your precious time and learn how to prioritize better.
It’s simply way too easy to squander away your time on things that don’t really matter in the long-run. I completely get this and understand that there are many complicated aspects of life. I am a single mother running a house and a business, it’s a challenge.
With much of our days filled with work and sleep, it can be challenging to find the time for other activities. Define your purpose and make it a priority. Your life will be enhanced immeasurably.
Discovering that you can learn how to prioritize your life better is empowering. Life will be full of ups and downs, as well as ebbs and flows – it’s inevitable, which is why it’s so important to bear in mind that there are no promises for what tomorrow holds. So live it up, discover what’s truly important in your life, and learn to make time for what really matters!