Have you ever had an “aha!” Moment? One of those times an epiphany hits you? I had one recently. This probably isn’t a new concept for most of you, but I heard it differently this time and it encouraged me to look at my life differently.
Busy doesn’t equal productive. We can be busy all the time and still not accomplish anything. And by being so busy all the time, mostly with unimportant “things,” we lose out on truly important things. Relationships can suffer, our careers can tank, we burn ourselves out and so on and so forth.
It is crucial to prioritize our lives. Focus on the most important tasks at hand, and let the rest go until it becomes the most important. There are many time management concepts floating around out there. Management classes cover a slew of them. Personally, I like Pareto’s 80/20 rule. 80 percent of what you gain in life comes from 20 percent of what you apply your energy to.
By the numbers it means that 80 percent of your outcomes come from 20 percent of your inputs. As Pareto demonstrated with his research this “rule” holds true, in a very rough sense, to an 80/20 ratio, however in many cases the ratio can be a lot higher – 99/1 may be closer to reality. examples where the 80/20 Rule applies. You probably make most of your phone calls to a very small amount of the people you have numbers for. You likely spend a large chunk of your money on few things (perhaps rent, mortgage payments or food). There is a good chance that you spend most of your time with only a few people from the entire pool of people you know.
Your 20 percent is up to you.
Here’s how I have recently begun prioritizing myself daily during the week. Remember, don’t over complicate things.
I wake up in time to relax with a cup of coffee and read my devotional before I have to get ready for the day. This is also often the time my husband and I get alone time to talk.
I work and/or go to school for 8 hours each day Monday-Friday.
I dedicate one hour a day to writing. I may split it up between morning and evening. Weekends sometimes allow a little more writing time.
I dedicate one half hour to an hour a day to working out. I try to do this immediately after work or school, depending on the day, so that the rest of my night is free for family time and/or homework.
I cook supper as soon as I get home, or my teenage daughters and husband help, and my kids are assigned kitchen clean up duties daily.
Grocery shopping is limited to one day a week. And I plan meals out for the week on Sunday to keep things running smoothly all week when my family is super busy.
Chores around the house are done as the needs arise. We have a clean house, but I no longer let this rule my life. I do laundry once a week and my three kids help with chores so we can all enjoy the more important things in life.
I spend approximately 7 hours a week in the car traveling. I utilize this time for vocal training and singing and enjoying music.
This is just a basic, rough outline of my week. Of course, it’s good to remain flexible when emergencies arise, but firm on what’s important to you. We will take a look at setting goals later and what you can do daily to reach your life goals.