An idea for having a good and prosperous one
Identify the roles where spending your time will matter most.
You get to choose how and where you are spending your time. There are so many options that it can be overwhelming to narrow the options and commit. In the face of this reality, a key success factor is how well you choose what to say “no” to. (Don’t forget to have some white space)! A framework is needed to help you prioritize so that you wind up satisfied with most of these decisions. Having named roles such as “spouse”, “parent”, “friend”, “electrician”, “church member”, “daughter”, and so on, helps you spend time on/with people and things that you decide are most important. This prevents regret as well as providing the satisfaction of a life well lived over time. Whether you are planning your day and week or responding to a request from someone else, you can be more confident in the “yes” or “no” you say to spending your time on a project or task.
Choosing Outcomes for Our Roles
“I want to spend time with family and be there for my son”. “I’m going to serve on a church committee”. “I want to enjoy my hobby”. These are examples of initiatives that can help you confidently create projects or respond to ideas/requests from others. As Stephen Covey implored, “Begin with the end in mind”. Planning and spending your time with “the end in mind” for each of your roles is an important aspect of this. Say “no” to things that don’t fit…unless they are so overwhelmingly compelling that you think them worth of creating a whole new role and perhaps diminishing or replacing an existing role.
Create a “Time Budget” for your roles
You don’t need a strict “budget” per se. You need a guideline so that each role regularly commands some of your time. This helps you avoid looking back some months (or even years) later, and say, “I regret neglecting that”. You can even prioritize the time budget so the most important roles and projects still receive time and energy if unusual external forces unexpectedly intrude on your schedule. You then can say “no” to things that are still important and painful to put aside…but you’ll know they are the right things to “not do” until later.
Re-schedule Important Things
When you decide to do something other than what you planned, you face the biggest opportunity for future regret. One of the most common errors in time management is not to analyze and decide what to do about planned things that did not get done. Choose promptly whether/when something should still be done and you will enjoy greater consistency and integrity in meeting the commitments you make to yourself and others. This will ultimately lead to greater overall integrity in each of the roles you choose to fulfill.
Jeff Linroth – Longmont