Ten Ways To Make Time For The Important Things

Making time for the important things in life is a real challenge. Have you ever ended the day with the feeling that you were as busy as you could possibly be, but didn't make any progress on the really important things? Have you been resentful of the time and energy you have to spend on meeting the demands of others? Have you ever felt out of control - that outside forces take up all your time - and you feel like a victim? Here are ten ways you can make time for the really important things in your life. 1 - Decide what is really important to you. The 3 to 5 most important things in your life - no more than that. This sounds so simple - and so easy.

It isn't. I challenge you to sit down and write out the 3 to 5 most important things you want to accomplish in your life. Most people won't do that. It takes time and focused thought - but it is the single best investment of time you can make. 2 - Make what's important to you the foundation of your goals.

Then align your goals with the requirements of those people, institutions, organizations that are important to you and can contribute to your success. This requires a shift in thought from feeling imposed on by others to seeing the requirements of others as contributing to your success. Making that mind shift can be the most liberating thing you can ever do. 3 - Adopt a "good enough" habit of thought toward the the things you must do but that are not part of your top goals. Trying to make everything the "best possible" sounds laudable - but it's a sure recipe for failure.

"Best possible" and perfection can literally suck up all the time you've got, and for things that aren't really that important. 4 - Place a high value on creating structure and limiting your choices. See them as positive behaviors in your battle to preserve as much of your time as you can for the important few. Set boundaries of time, energy and money around the less important. 5 - Create a habit of thought that allows you to replace instinctive reaction with considered response. It's very easy, and lazy, to wait for an outside stimulus to create response.

It's hard to sort out and choose response - but critical to your own success. 6 - Learn to say "No." There will always be demands on your time in excess of the time you have available, and while the demands of others may be good for them, they may not be good for you. Work to act only on those demands that are a win - win. Remind yourself that the price paid for having too much to do and too little time is that nothing gets done to even a "good enough" level.

7 - Make routine, predictable and structured all the "good enough" stuff. To the extent that you create routines, the focus of your thoughts and actions can be used for the important stuff. It's amazing how much real thought and planning and decision making can be accomplished while performing the routines of mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, doing the dishes. A friend who travels a lot on business sees routines as his close friends - they keep him supplied with all his day to days, and allow him to focus on the important things. An example - he always parks his rental car under a light post while traveling - always.

Why? It's easier to find it if he forgets where he parked it. Simple - effective. 8 - When it comes to the really important things, forget "multitasking." A focused hour spent on a top goal beats a day spent on "thin things.

" Busy is not the same as effective - often it's just an avoidance tool - it's procrastination dressed in activity. 9 - Act with enthusiasm - nothing makes things work better than energy and optimism - the belief that good things will come from our actions, and the expectation that our goals will be met and exceeded. And. if some of the routine things simply don't call for enthusiasm, then adopting a mindset of acceptance places a much higher value on accomplishing them.

Saying to yourself " As soon as I've got that done - I can get on to the neat stuff" creates a reward for yourself. 10 - Enjoy the rewards of your self discipline. When the combination of the most important and the" good enough" results in your success - however you define that elusive word - take the time to celebrate. Use these ten ways to protect as much of your energy and time and optimism as possible.

The result will be greater success in the things that matter to you most - whatever they may be.

Andy Cox helps clients align their resources and design and implement change through the application of goals focused on the important few elements that have maximum impact in achieving success - as defined by the client. He can be reached at http://www.coxconsultgroup.com or acox@coxconsultgroup.com


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