This motivation isn't being shared as early as I would like however sometimes the right thing comes at the right time, and that is the case with this post! At least I can tell you with the way this has gone, it is in perfect timing for myself. Some Mondays are just a shadow of what is to come the rest of the week so, let's get set for a good week. Let's talk about priorities. Yes Priorities! BUT WAIT! Don't close this post.. I promise it won't be painful, and maybe just maybe you will walk away from it with a bit of encouragement and inspiration!
Optimize is defined as making the best or most effective use of a situation, opportunity, or resource.
Priority is defined as a thing that is regarded as more important than another.
Now I know I have talked about priorities before and the various ways that schedule mine out but I am honestly excited to say I have been motivated lately on not only having a list of priorities but to truly optimize them to make the most of my time, energy, and focus. Let's face it, we all live very busy lives, and sometimes we need a good kick in the rear to get our focus back where it belongs. So, before I can go into a few steps to make optimizing your priorities come easier for you ~ I need to ask you a few questions. In fact, I need you to ask yourself a few questions and more than anything else be extremely honest.
1. How are you spending your time? If you can't answer this with 100% honesty, then don't bother until you can. Get a sheet of paper and list everything you do during the duration of one day. Write the time, what your doing, and how long you spend on it. THERE IS NO RIGHT or WRONG answer here! I am not trying to get you to give up anything.. just to take note of how you spend your time.
2. If you broke your life down into categories, what are your top importance? For me, mine are usually: Home/ Work/ Writing. Currently I am on summer break, but in the next couple of weeks I will be spending some time organizing (my mind and ideas) for the upcoming year. Often during the school year I don't often add "Work" into my planner because I have my plans shared somewhere else. During the school year my "work" section in my planner becomes "KIDS" and I keep note of their practice/game schedules and extra activities including projects due etc.
3. If you had an extra hour of time in every single day, what would you do with it?
See, not too terribly hard right? The hardest of those will be the time map. It is also the most important!
NOW... here are three steps to begin to optimize your priorities therefore optimizing your time, energy, and focus.
1. Stop wasting time procrastinating! We waste too much time and energy putting something off than we actually spend on the task at hand. In our minds it takes hours to do something that in reality takes a whole twenty minutes. Stop that! I sure hope you put that in your time map ~ the time wasted on procrastinating.
2. Ask yourself "If I only got ONE thing done today what would I want to get done to still feel good about my day when I go to bed?". I can tell you that mopping my kitchen floor is NOT the top of my priority list, but it does get done. Why? Because when I knock off the top things on my list I have a ton of time and a desire to do the extras.
3. Stop shifting your priorities for false emergencies. What? Yep. We have all been guilty of moving our day around to match other people's false emergencies! Let's think about this. You are tackling one big thing on your list for the day, that one thing that when it gets done you will know that you can rest well when the phone rings. "Hey (insert your name here), I completely forgot to ask you ahead of time but can you ..........". Now, I know there are going to be three groups and the way they answer those questions are going to be evident. The first group will say 'Now, I like to be flexible because one day I will need someone to do something for me." The second group will say "NO" immediately. and the third group will beg to argue that they shouldn't be in control of their day but to leave it open completely and just go with the flow. What I am going to suggest is going to hurt but please hear it with a heart of a goal achiever. Learn to say no! Don't re-prioritize your priorities and life's work for other people's false emergencies. If they waited until the last minute it shouldn't be YOU to save them. Now, if you feel a deep spiritual need to help, then please do but it very well could be a test to see if you will say no.
4. Start prioritizing some freedom time. Whether it be crafting, reading, or enjoying a tv show with your family make that a priority. WE ALL need some "freedom" time and if you do not make that a priority, other's will not allow that to be a priority for you either. For some of us that may mean an hour in the morning with coffee and social media before get into the frenzy of life. For some it may mean sitting outside after work with a glass of iced tea to just breath in fresh air. Maybe it is date night with your spouse, quite time with the Lord, whatever it may be... stop putting it off thinking time will just happen.
I hope this post has inspired you to spend some time with those priorities, your time, and seeing where perhaps you have wasted energy and focus. :)