Have you ever had that question cross your mind? There’s so much to attend to work, kids, relationships, personal growth. It is easy to get overwhelmed. Being very busy and checking off the do list feels great at that moment until you realize that you are on a hamster wheel going nowhere. Yet feeling busy and in control is an addiction that keeps you on that wheel.
Stop the wheel for a few moments. Take a step back and calibrate where you are.
Take a blank paper and create 3 columns.
- In column 1 write down everything you think is important for you in your career and personal life. For example – Health, career advancement, money, relationship, spirituality, self-improvement, community.
- In column 2 rank them in the order of importance
- In column 3 write down the approximate time you are spending on each item
Then ask yourself – Are you focused on your top-ranked items?
If not start with ruthless prioritization. Instead of starting with your top goals, start prioritizing what you are NOT going to do. Decide ahead of time what you are going to say no to. For one week watch your calendar and see how many things you said no to, meetings declined, lengthy emails avoided because you picked up the phone, let go the urge of opening and responding to each email right away.
“Urgent” situations will show up each day. Don’t let it take over the rest of your day. Recognize the pattern of people-pleasing and saying yes to everything. Let go of the “guilt” of not doing enough.
Once you are clear on what not to do, go back to the remaining list. Pick top priorities both at work and in your personal life.
- Create 3 columns on a piece of paper
- Column 1 write down the priority
- Column 2 write downtime you want to spend on each priority
- Column 3 write down WHY you want to work on this priority. Ask yourself do I like my reason? If you don’t like it, ask yourself can I accept the reason even if I don’t fully like it? If the answer is no for both questions, then drop it from your list.
It’s a choice to love, like, accept or to hate, dislike, reject what you want and have in your life. That choice will lead you to the result which you may or may not like.
Going back to the question – Where do I even start? Start by making the choice.