Step One: Take Inventory
Observe how you spend your time AND your energy. Who and What lifts you? Who and What drains you? What do you look forward to? And is it usually what you expected? More? Less? If less, then work on your “Effective Forecasting” ability aka your “Predictive Intelligence”. Our consumption-oriented economy tries to sell us on the idea that various material goods/experiences will make us happy. Sometimes they do, sometimes they leave us empty and unfulfilled. Everyone is different, incredibly special and unique, each of us needs to “personalize” our Life Operating Manual. I find goal setting, writing out my self-concept (ok, I get a bit aspirational), my mission statement and journaling incredibly powerful ways to focus my thoughts, time, and energy.
Step Two: Define Your Purpose/Find Your Meaning/Set Priorities
Victor Frankel in ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ opined that the “meaning of life” is not a question we get to ask of life, rather it is a question life asks of us. I suggest that a good start lies in the concept that the best we can be, we must be: “To give anything other than our best is to sacrifice the gift.” (Steve Prefontaine)
Step Three: Clear out the Clutter based upon your Purpose/Meaning/Priorities
“Big Rocks” in first, then fit other things in around; for what matters most should never be at the mercy of what matters less. Schedule YOUR priorities, not those of others. In other words, do not prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen Covey
“Productivity refers to both the action and the result of a process that centers on assessing one’s priorities and then acting on them.” – Melissa Steginus
“If standard of living is your major objective, quality of life almost never improves, but if quality of life is your number one objective, your standard of living almost always improves.” – Zig Ziglar
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier