Do you have enough time to do the important things in life?
The things that fill you up leaving you more resourceful? The biggest priorities in your life?
I ask because the number of amazing people I work with – coaching clients, those who approach me after a keynote, friends and associates – who express they are struggling to find time to do the most important things in life is huge. And it’s standing in the way of not only their happiness, but sometimes their health and certainly their greatness.
Today I’d like to jump in by sharing my first three tips. Let’s set some context first.
Stephen Covey talks about having time for the “big rocks” in life. These are the MOST important things, your top priorities. Put them in your cup first and the other important day to day things that you need to make time for, those go in next; the pebbles. After that, all the other small things, the little details in life; emails and other minutia is like grains of sand that you pour in and it fills around the edges of your pebbles and big rocks.
What people describe to me is happening in their lives, is their life is so full of sand, the pebbles barely fit (or are sources of stress to cram in) and the big rocks don’t fit at all. What happens when that is the case? You probably don’t feel fulfilled. Maybe you are feeling guilty that some of those important things, like time with family, are getting pushed to the side. You double your efforts. Maybe you are staying late at your job, you’re trying to make sure you are burning the candle at both ends, you are sacrificing sleep so you can get to your kids’ games and also be able to see the recital and making up the time and…it’s exhausting, right? How do we get to a point where we can prioritize those important things including the big rock of…ourselves?
If you just felt a shiver down your spine, that the idea of examining how you’re spending your time, knowing you need to make adjustments, including prioritizing yourself, makes you feel a bit nauseous, it’s probably because you are telling yourself that it’s selfish. What if having time for you was the most important thing you could do for all the other people around you? What if you were the most important rock? If you think about that metaphor, are you not a rock to other people and do you not hold things together at your work, in your family and in your community?
How can you prioritize yourself and the most important things in life?
- Know your Rocks
Know unquestioningly, what the big rocks are in your life? Stand for them.
- Schedule time for the Big Rocks
If fitness is your big rock, schedule time in to do your exercises. Are you treating it like a pebble to be filled in somewhere else or is it a grain of sand you are trying to fit in around other day to day things? Schedule the important things into your week and also into your life on an ongoing basis. Book these things now, even if it doesn’t need to happen for a year or two, get it into your life.
- Find an Accountability Partner
I bet you have one already! To use the fitness goal again, if you have somebody to run with you, if work is one of the biggest things in your life, could you perhaps plan your professional development with somebody you trust? Anything that’s important to you, you can ask for the support of someone to ensure you achieve what you want to achieve. After all, if you can’t make yourself a priority by doing those three things (identify your big rocks, schedule in the time, and find an accountability partner) then you are losing the battle.
You are worth it! When you recognize your own greatness and value the time you need to spend on the important things in life, you will be that much more resourceful to other people. That’s why I’d challenge anyone if they think practicing these strategies are selfish. It’s actually the least selfish and most resourceful thing you could do to support all those who depend on you.
On my website, you will find “Ten Tips to Prioritize What’s Important in Work and Life”, a great one-page, visual resource that you can print off, post in your office and share with your colleagues. Simply use your log in to access the downloadable resources page!
I encourage you to subscribe to my You Tube Channel and visit my website for more great resources! See you next week for more on how to prioritize the important things, and ultimately, make way for greatness!