I have always liked the idea as viewing your time similar to currency. You get to decide how you spend it and what types if investments you make. Sadly, just like with our money, many of us make bad or misinformed decisions. Time is finite. There will be a time when it grows short and then disappears. Our children will only live with us a relatively brief time before they grow up and move away to begin their own lives. People we care about will run out of time and all that will remain will be the memories we made with them while they were still here. Our career will follow a natural arc and eventually our lives will be less about what we do for a living (despite our past accomplishments) and we will need to redefine ourselves. Knowing this, what can and should we do differently. I believe it all starts with priorities.
I would have to say that I tend to be an impatient person (although I’m working on it). I’m sure everyone who knows me wouldn’t argue with this point. I prefer taking action to waiting. Once I make up my mind about something, I just want to move forward and make progress. In addition, I get frustrated with others who don’t operate with the same sense of urgency that I do. It literally boggles my mind how slow and uninspired many people seem on a daily basis. However, with time and some maturity, I’ve begun to realize that the problem isn’t always them and maybe sometimes it’s me.
It is impossible to be truly happy and successful in life without a strong sense of priorities. There will no shortage of distractions competing for your attention. It is easy to get out of balance and sidetracked by issues that are comparatively unimportant in the wide scheme of things. Sadly, we often taken for granted people we shouldn’t and have a tendency to lose our perspective when we need it most. Many people I meet struggle with guilt and regret over what they wish they would have done differently in certain areas of their life. More often than not they are unhappy with how they prioritized their time, energy and attention.
There are few things more important than having priorities for what’s important in your life and how you choose to spend your time. We are all the architects of our own existence, at times struggling with the design challenges, however ultimately the adult life we build is our own. Happiness is a choice not just an outcome. It should also be an expectation.
It’s Friday afternoon. The weather is beautiful. Mother’s Day is on Sunday. Life is good. My recommendation is keep it that way. If you are carrying around stress from work – leave it there. Monday will be here soon enough. In business you need to be able to turn it on and turn it off otherwise the pressure will seem never ending. And if you are not careful this becomes a way of life.
Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you will be successful or happy. In fact, many people fill their time up with useless or non-essential activity. They run from meeting to meeting or event to event and wonder why the important stuff never gets done.
Works is not an end in and of itself. If you truly are passionate about what you are doing, it is also not just a means to an end either. It is simply an important part of defining who and what you are as an individual at any given point and time.
Everyone needs to unplug on a regular basis and focus on being their non-work self. My experience has always been that the best leaders are never one dimensional. They live vibrant personal as well as professional lives.