Thursday, April 16, 2015

Time We Have Wasted On The Way

I'm not sure I've been wasting time lately, but there sure doesn't seem to be enough of it.  So many things clamor for our attention--the urgent, the important, the must-do-this minute--that it's hard to even consider planning for the future or enjoying the present.  Part of it is the season of life we're in and part of it is my tendency to schedule too much because I'm pretty good at logistics and I can usually make it work.  This past week, though, my schedule (really, the kids' schedules) got the better of me.  There was no time for cooked meals, a presentably clean house, or down time with the family., and certainly no time for writing.  All of the events that took our time were good things and they were all activities we knew were coming.  But still, I had a nagging feeling that something had to give.

This past January, I participated in a phone coaching class with The 1 Thing coaching.  It's based on the book by Gary Keller, The One Thing.  I really enjoyed the book and the class, but I have not been very successful at integrating what I learned into my life, because it seems at times that I'm not in control of my life.  Anybody else every feel that way?  Changing that starts with me and it starts with priority.

Setting a priority (1 priority, hence the name of the book) each day for my business and scheduling time blocks to accomplish that priority are crucial to making our goals happen.  Gary Keller has some great ideas about focus and they apply not just to our business/career, but all aspects of our lives--health, relationships, finance, and spiritual.    Michael Hyatt has a short, free e-book available if you subscribe to his email newsletter.  It's called "Shave 10 Hours off your Work Week" and it echoed a lot of the same ideas in the Keller book and a lot of what Tim Ferris has to say.  In it, he mentioned an app that got my attention:

The 4 quadrants come from Steven Covey's First Things First.  Quadrant 1 (upper left) is important and urgent, which should be top priority.  Quadrant 2 (upper right) is important, but not urgent and is 2nd most important.  Quadrant 3 is urgent to someone else and here is where most people get bogged down.  It's hard to say no to someone who is asking for our help.  I think we should help if we can, but it needs to take a backseat to items in our Quadrant 1.  This old sign explains why, in most cases:

This weekend, I have a free day.  Some activities we previously planned fell through, so, I'm going to take advantage of it and do some short and long term priority planning.  I hope these tools I've shared will help those of you who need a nudge to make better use of this beautiful gift that God has given you.  Because that's what your time really is--a gift.  Use it well.

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