Clarify Your Priorities

Either you run the day, or the day runs you.

—Jim Rohn

Work, family, self-care, health, friends, relationship, purpose, finances—we have a lot to juggle. The more roles you play in life, the more projects and commitments you embrace, the more goals you are pursuing at the same time—the harder it gets. Your time and energy are divided among so many things that you feel overwhelmed, and at times cannot give each thing the attention it deserves. It feels frustrating. 

The first thing to do, then, is to simplify your life. In a way, to be more pragmatic, not assuming that you can achieve everything at the same time. We all need to learn to respect our time and energy limits. 

If you want to create more space for your aspiration(s), you will need to give up certain things. You will need to make a sacrifice, letting go of things of lesser value, for your aspirations—for example, letting go of spending an hour in social media every day so that you can instead dedicate that time to an activity that promotes your goal. If, as an experiment, you let go of half of your activities, you will discover a startling fact: the other half gets double the energy and attention. You will progress much more quickly in the half that remained—and also derive much more satisfaction from it.

This is time prioritization: you increase the amount of time and energy dedicated to activities that promote your goals and values, and diminish the time and energy you allocate to everything else—or perhaps even omit a bunch of activities altogether. You make these decisions using your core values and goals as a compass. 

Regardless of how well you are able to follow the guideline of simplicity and sacrifice, you will still have to juggle a few different things in your life. Which means that you will need to master the four elements of mindful time management (Chapter 33 of the book). The more complex your life is, the more you’ll need these skills.

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