Uncovering Your True Priorities
Want to know the secret to uncovering your priorities? Finish this sentence:
I give most of my time to….
Please take a few minutes to stop and really think about this. What did you do yesterday? What did you give your time to this past weekend? Last week? Last year?
What and who do you give most of your precious time to?
Those things and those people are your priorities. Are they what you want them to be?
On my “Getting to Know You” questionnaire I ask all of my new clients what they’re passionate about and what is most important to them right now. And very often what they write down isn’t at all where they are giving most of their time. We all get off course sometimes. Life happens. But when we are consistently giving our time to things that aren’t on OUR priority list we are dying a slow death on the inside. And then we often eat, drink, say "yes" when we need to say "no", do busy work, or whatever else we can think of to distract ourselves from the fact that we’re letting our souls down. We let the demands of others, what everyone else wants, what seems like a good idea at the moment, or what we think we should want take over our days.
Try changing your language and use "this is or isn't a priority". How does it feel when you say "No, I'm not going to exercise and eat right, my health just isn't a priority right now."? Or "No, I'm sorry I can't stay off my blackberry and give you my undivided attention through our dinner, what you have to say and this time together just isn't a priority." Or "No, I'm sorry I just can't call you back or send you a quick e-mail sweetie, you're just not a priority." It felt like a good swift kick in the stomach to me just writing those...because I've said those things before with my actions. Versus "No, I can't take on this additional project right now, it isn't on the priority list."? Or "No, I can't go to that event, it isn't a priority for me right now." You get the idea...
It is time to start taking back your days if how you answer, “What are you passionate about? What is most important to you right now?”, and “What do you give most of your time to?” doesn’t match up. Even if you just start with carving out 30 minutes to an hour a day or a week for a priority you’ve been neglecting.
What (and who) will you give your precious, limited resource of time to?