Let me ask you two questions:
- What is most important to you?
- What is filling up your life right now?
Do the two answers make sense together? Is your life full of the things that are important to you? Or are you just trying to get everything that is in front of you done? For example, if you answered “family” to question number one and “work” to question number two…your priorities might be out of whack.
If you can successfully align those two questions, you will have the key to greater productivity and also the key to greater joy and meaning in your life. Sounds pretty good, right?
Here is the message that I want to reiterate to you: Being productive is NOT about getting more done. We only have so many hours in the day. If you simply try to cram more in, you will quickly become overwhelmed, and those two questions will never align. Productivity is all about getting the RIGHT things done. The key to it all is knowing what the right things are and then being selfish about getting them done.
What to Prioritize
So how do you know what to prioritize? If you are anything like me, there are a million things coming at you every single day. There are things that other people want you to do, things that you want to do, things that you think you should do, and things that really don’t need to be done at all.
So let me ask you a personal question.
If someone found your daily task list, would they be able to tell what your personal values are?
I bet that question felt like a punch in the gut to some of you. I hope I didn’t offend you, but sometimes we need a little gut check. All too often our days get filled up with stuff that doesn’t align with what we want out of life. Our goals get left behind for the every day chaos.
Why should you spend your energy and precious time working on something that doesn’t match up with your goals, aspirations, and values?
Here is the answer: YOU SHOULDN’T!
You have to start thinking now about what activities you need to spend time on in order to experience the things that matter most to you.
In fact, you should start right now.
Here is a truth. No one else will make the time for your priorities.
- Want to spend more time with your family? You are the only one that can make that happen.
- Want to build your relationship with God? No one else will do it for you.
- Want to get that promotion at work? You are the only one that can do it.
- Want to lose weight and get in shape? No one else can burn the calories for you.
- Want to change your path in life? Yep – it has got to be you.
Your life is always your choice. The choices you make today will determine the outcome of your life and the legacy you leave behind. Will you have regrets or great memories?
Where to Start
If you don’t know where to start, I challenge you to just take a minute right now. Write down your top ten priorities. Next to each one, write one thing (it can be small) that you can do immediately to invest energy into that priority. Then….do it. Be selfish.
If family is a top priority –
- Plan a date night with your spouse.
- Take your child to the park.
- Turn off your cell phone during dinner.
- Pick up the phone and call to say “I love you.”
If furthering your education is a top priority –
- Purchase a course online.
- Watch a documentary.
- Register for that class you want to take.
If your career is important to you –
- Identify a mentor you can learn from.
- Map out your next potential career move.
- Eliminate one task today that will not help in your career path.
You will truly be amazed at the sense of accomplishment you will feel, how energized you will be, and how much more engaged you are in your life when you start spending more time on the things that matter the most to you.
Your life will start to make a lot more sense when you start being selfish. Guard your time because we only have a limited supply.
Now…go be selfish with your day.
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