Saturday, February 8, 2014

You Are Not Being Selfish When You Put Yourself First

Everyday is a new opportunity to do the things you want to - for one reason or another you run into a fork in the road. On the left are the things you want to do, on the right the things you must do. You are not unique in this dilemma, everyone must come to grips with balancing the MUST-DO’s and the WANT-TO's.

There is time in everyone’s day to do the things they want to-do - it all boils down to how they prioritize their activities.

Here are three strategies you can use to prioritize your day.

1) Set aside YOUR daily time, it's easy to push the snooze button, sleep in 30 more minutes then scurry off to do work for someone else. Pushing snooze might give you more time to finish your last dream or push off the inevitable for a few more minutes, but when you do this the person who looses is you. You MUST set aside a time when you can be alone to think. Setting aside time is like making an investment in YOU - if you don't invest you'll never get a good return. Defend your personal time as if your life depends on it – because it does.

2) Tactical versus strategic, it's easy to get caught up in the tactical activities of the day, these activities can be rewarding in an odd sort of way, kind of like the way comfort food does on a cold day. The problem with the tactical activities is that you won't get anywhere if you only do them. Think about time spent cleaning your house versus studying or getting an advanced degree, I'm not advocating having a dirty house. Both activities take time, but one will greatly improve your opportunities in life. Learn to recognize when you are doing activities to pass the time versus strategic, other non-strategic activities include, watching TV, surfing the web and more.

3) Write down your goals, there is information overload in this modern world we live in, our senses put in overtime trying to process everything coming at us. One activity I use to help focus my thoughts is to write them down, when writing it forces me to think first, write second. Thinking is a parallel activity you can switch context quickly, great for learning to react. However, writing is a serial activity - the act of writing trains your brain to think then execute, plus writing is some if the cheapest therapy you'll find. The paper is held captive to all your ideas, ramblings and rants. Once you've got your ideas captured, isolate the activities and prioritize them.

Every once in awhile it is nice to do things for others, but when you find you are spending the majority of your time helping others accomplish their goals it's easy to feel trapped, your existence is for others - all your activities go to benefit those around you.

The person accountable for change is you, you can take back control, and you do this by setting aside your time, identify what are tactical versus strategic activities and finally write down and prioritizing your activities. This gives you the starting point needed to identify and prioritize your daily activities, a way to get you out of the daily activities grind and start focusing on things that's are going to make you feel awesome.

Once you've got your activities under control, you can always go back to doing for others, the difference is that this time it will be on your terms, not theirs.

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