When there is something I really need to do, I get very busy on tidying my desk, ditching old emails, responding to last minute requests from others. Anything but actually taking the time to discipline myself to do the task that needs to be done.
Did you ever see the video of the teaching putting water, sand, pebbles, small rocks into a jar and then not having the space to add the really big rocks. That’s me….. so now, I am choosing to use the same discipline that has served me as an athlete in the rest of my life.
What does that look like? I have taken the time to identify my values and the things that are important to me. I value; honesty, authenticity, personal growth, curiosity, continual personal growth; and the things that are important to me include; my health, my family, friends, love, my contribution (work), joy and adventure. And now, I make time for those things daily and leave the emails to wait, some of the cleaning for another day, grocery shopping might even be put off for a few days.
The process I went through included:
- Inventorying a day, then a week. How was I spending my time?
- Identifying my values.
- Going through each of the activities that I was spending time on and seeing if they aligned with my values and the important things to me.
- Learning and practicing saying “No” to those activities that did not align with my values or important things in my life.
Then I set myself some boundaries, for example;
- Allocate a time slot to check and respond to email;
- Spend 15 minutes answering the most important emails;
- Limit the response to 5 sentences.
- Turn off your phone and email to focus on a meeting or a task that needs to be completed.
- Set a timer and then move on to what is really important… for me at this point, developing my website and getting this blog written.
Say No instead of Yes to requests made of your time that don’t move you closer to your goal. Thank the person for thinking of you. Don’t give excuses. A sage once shared with me, ‘Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway’.
Try saying “No” to those things that don’t align with your values and life goals so you can spend more time doing what you Love.