There are always lots of priorities calling on my time. How do I know which to give my focus to? It’s simple: rather than go through life and be pushed around from one task to another (I’ve done that at one point or another), I spend time thinking about what I want up front. AND I write it down.
Call it a vision, a goal or a plan. I have a pretty good idea of where I’m going. I also know what activities are necessary and which ones will make me happy and bring balance in my life. So when I’m bombarded with things that need doing, I ask myself three questions:
1. Is this a ‘life’ task?
Some things are necessary whether they will help me achieve my vision or not. I have to go food shopping, I have to take my car to the garage for a service and I have to drive my kids places. None of these help me get to my goal faster, but they do help me live the life I’ve chosen and keep my family happy and comfortable.
Most of these life tasks are planned in already, I drive my kids to courses that happen on certain days and I go shopping every Saturday morning. So that’s a relatively easy one.
If you find that you have too many life tasks, my advice is that you start delegating or hiring people to take them away from you. I have hired someone to clean my house because if I want to progress my goals, I cannot afford to spend 5 hours cleaning my house. Is there anything you could delegate or hire out?
2. Is this something that will take me to my vision?
Questioning whether a task will get me to my vision faster is a good gauge of what’s important and what isn’t. The issue often is that I know certain things will take me closer to my vision but I don’t really enjoy doing them so I ‘postpone’ them. This is where having spent some time pulling a plan together helps because I will have already written down the ‘necessary’ tasks.
Sometimes something isn’t on my plan but it sounds like a good idea. Measuring this against what is on my plan really helps. I can see quite quickly whether it’s a genuinely good idea or if I’m just trying to distract myself from the stuff I know I have to do but I really don’t want to do.
Having a clear vision and a plan really helps decide what is important and what is not. What is priority and what is not. Do you have a plan or a clear vision?
3. Have I worked hard enough and do I need to have some fun?
Let’s face it, if you work all the time, you’re life will soon get out of balance and you will get stressed. Forgetting about your vision and goals on a regular basis every week is a really good thing.
New ideas do not come if you don’t make some space in your head so getting away from your vision, work, life goals is a must. Last weekend, I consciously chose not to go near my computer. I cooked with my 8 year old son, I played board games and I had a long Sunday lunch with my family. In the evenings, I watched a couple of films and I read my book.
Do you have too many tasks? Did this help think about them in a new light?