“But I just don’t have time to fit that into my schedule!”
These are words I hear ALL the time from clients, family, and friends. And I’m sure you do too. Maybe you said it to yourself recently in an effort to excuse the fact that you no longer prioritize something that you really feel you should.
Let’s change that.
During every phase of our life, we have things we prioritize, whether we do it consciously or not. Not sure what your priorities are? Consider what you spend most of your time doing. Write down the top 5 things you spend time doing during your week and boom you have it… your priorities. Remember, these are the things you actually spend your time doing, not what you wish you spent your time doing. We often prioritize things, that upon reflection, we wish we didn’t.
After doing this exercise, step back and look at your list. Maybe there is an opportunity to groom your list and refocus your time toward things that truly matter to you.
Averaging 2 hours a day watching Netflix, but can’t seem to find time to workout? Start your side hustle? Reconnect with old friends? Meal prep? Remember that ultimately your time is in the palm of your hands and you can do what you want with it. You CHOOSE where you focus your energy.
Now that you have your priority list, consider when you are executing on most of those to-dos during the day. Do you always save your workout for after work when you are already burnt out from a long day? How often do you miss those workouts? Do you show up fresh to work and show up lackluster for your family in the evening? Or the flip of that… do you spend the majority of your work morning “at your worst” and wonder why you never get promoted? Or maybe you are putting the majority of your most energetic time toward activities that aren’t even on your priority list!
Align your top priorities with the time of day that you thrive most. Recall your results from the quiz in my recent blog post (check it out here if you haven’t yet 😉 ) and match your top priorities to your peak time.
I know a lot of you are probably thinking, “But Reed, I am at my peak in the morning and I have to be at work at 7:30/8am. How am I supposed to fit in my other priorities in the morning when I feel my best?”
Here are a few ideas:
- Seeking to prioritize family/relationship time? Try waking up a bit early to grab a latte with your significant other before work. Eat a nice breakfast with your family before the day starts – who cares if it’s a Tuesday and not the weekend – life doesn’t have to be so full of rules!
- Want to get into your AM workout groove? Sign up for a class that will get you sweating in the AM, at a studio with showers so you can get ready for work at the gym.
- Struggling with your side hustle? Wake up and work on your passion before you work your 9-5. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have woken up before 5am so I can write for an hour before work, because that is my prime time!
- Trying to implement a mediation routine? Set your alarm 20 minutes early so you can begin a regular practice that will set your day off on the right foot!
If you are a night owl, the reverse of all of this is true as well. The key here is to focus your most optimized time on the things that matter most to you! Remember that even an extra 30 minutes spent on something you care about, while you are at your energetic peak, can allow you to start making strides in the areas of your life that feel most meaningful.
Your action steps:
- Identify ONE thing in your life that you wish you prioritized more highly.
- Now identify 30 minutes of time during your peak hours (morning, mid-day, evening) when you could focus on this thing.
- Recognize if you need to shift other things in your schedule to make this happen – do you need to take your lunch hour to focus on a priority rather than slamming through emails at your desk? Do you need to say “no” to more evening social plans to create more time in your schedule?
- Commit this next week to finding 4, 30-minute blocks of time during your peak hours to prioritize this single thing.
- Watch yourself flourish in the power of focusing your energy on the things you care about most!
Check out the rest of the time tendencies series here:
Understanding Your Time Tendencies