Oh gosh, YES. This guest post from Maxie is something we should all be considering. When I think about what I have time for and what I don’t, I’m really saying, these are my priorities, and these are not. I’ve personally been doing my own exercise of priorities this year and I realized where I had been investing my time was not what I wanted to prioritize!
How to Figure Out Your Priorities
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
I’m a pretty firm believer that “balance,” as we commonly think of it, shouldn’t be our goal. Making sure that we have equal time here, and equal time there and equal time everywhere will only land us one place– unsuccessful and totally fried.
What does work in making sure that our life is balanced, is to prioritize what matters most to you. And to ensure that those things get the ample amount of time and energy with how important they are to you. For example, if you’re spending literally every last minute of your life on running errands but you know it’s not the most important thing, your priorities are out of whack.
Back when I had just graduated college, I remember reflecting on the six months that had passed since graduation and having a semi-major freak out that I had not prioritized making time for my best friends who were spread all around the world. They were some of the most important relationships in my life, yet I was pouring energy everywhere but there. So I made a plan with them to course correct. I scheduled into my calendar which weeks I would call who. Just knowing I had a plan gave me the relief and the joy from my priorities re-aligning.
You may be wondering, but what are my priorities?
First, I’ll tell you what they are not – they are not things that other people say should be important. They are not things that are important to others and you think should be important to you. And they are not things that might make you look or sound good. These are not your priorities. These are things that will leave you unfulfilled.
To figure out what your priorities are, you’ve got to ask yourself what matters most to you? I like doing this in the contextual timeframe of a single year. What can you look back on a year from today and be so proud of where you spent your time? In reverse, if you look back at the last year, what were your highlights?
Trust me; it won’t be what you think.
When I did this exercise of asking myself what’s important, I was blown away by the things that came up for me. It showed me what my priorities were that I might have taken for granted. And it most definitely showed me where I should be putting that same focused energy and time as the other places in my life.
So once you have a sense of what’s most important to you, take a close look at if your lifestyle and your actions show that. Do you make time for these priorities on a regular basis? Are you as structured about showing attention and effort?
If you design your time, your energy and your attention around your priorities, everything else will fall into place. You’ll be able to avoid frustrating imbalance, and your life will be filled with more of what you love.