Do you feel like you never have the time to work on the things you really want to? I know how it feels to get so caught up in all the things you have to do that you never get time for the things you want to do. Let’s talk about how to focus on what really matters so you can start living a life you love.
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The best way I’ve found to get clear on what I really want to focus on is to answer some key questions. Let’s go through these. You can use your answers to prioritize your life and stop focusing on the things you don’t love and start making time for the things that really matter.
What do you currently spend time doing?
Start out by understanding all the things you currently do on a daily and weekly basis. The easiest way to do this is to track everything you do for a week.
The goal of this step is to figure out whether you’re actually being productive and how much time you spend doing things that you either hate or aren’t really benefiting you. Keep a notebook or your planner and track everything you do during the day for an entire week. Whether you’re working, cleaning your house, watching Netflix, everything.
Create the entire list and then start thinking about which of those things you don’t enjoy doing. Now, there are always going to be things we have to do that we don’t necessarily want to. I want you to identify the things you absolutely dislike – what activities just suck the life out of you?
What are you current obligations?
From the list you created, go through and mark the things you feel that you’re obligated to do. What things do you have to do whether you want to do them or not?
This would be things like work, family events, or meetings for clubs or organizations you’re a part of. You’ve signed up or agreed to do these things and now you are obligated to show up.
What expectations do you have to meet?
Now that you’re really thinking about where you spend your time, I also want you to think about WHY you spend your time doing some of those things.
Specifically, why do you spend time doing things you hate? Why do you feel like you can’t spend more time doing the things you really want to work on?
A lot of the time we feel like we have to do certain things with our lives because that’s what other people expect us to do. Who’s expectations are you constantly trying to meet? Over the past few years I’ve realized that I do a lot of the things I do just because that is what society and other people in my life expect me to do.
Specifically, people expect me to get a good job and put all my focus into my career. While my career is still important to me, I also am loving getting to use my skills to build an online business as well.
From your list of things you are currently spending your time doing, mark which ones you are only doing because someone else expects you to be doing that thing.
What do you want to spend your time doing?
Now that you know how you are currently spending your time, think about what you ACTUALLY want to be doing.
What are you currently doing that you do enjoy? What do you wish you could do more of?
My biggest struggle has been figuring out what I can do that combines things I love to do while helping others (and making money!) This blog has been the start of me figuring out what I love to create. I think a lot of the time the main thing that causes people to be unhappy with parts of their life is the feeling of not having a purpose. Finding out how you can use your own talents to make an impact can be a great way to feel like you actually have a purpose.
What is most important to you?
Think about what is actually most important to you. Is it your family? Do you want to travel? Have you always wanted to start a business? What are your actual dreams for your life?
Take some time think about what your dream life would look like. Write down what your idea day would look like.
How to prioritize your time
Now that you’ve figured out where you’re currently spending your time, you can start making changes to put your schedule more in line with your priorities.
Go through the list of your weekly activities and start crossing off the things you hate the most. How can you start making changes to replace these things with activities you actually enjoy?
For example, if you actually hate your job, is it time to start looking for a new one? It might be time for a career change.
This is going to be the hardest step because changing your comfortable habits – even if they make you miserable – can be a little scary. It’s hard to build a life you love and it’s hard to stay miserable. Pick your hard.
Shifting Your Mindset
One of the hardest parts of building a life you love is shifting your mindset. You deserve to live a life you totally love. You can make money doing something that you enjoy and that does make an impact. You don’t have to do things just because society or friends and family think you should.
We usually live our lives so caught up in what other people think of us. In the words of Rachel Hollis – “What other people think of you is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.” The faster you start living by those words, the faster you will have a totally fulfilling life with less stress and less drama.
So, how can you shift your mindset? The way that worked the best for me was reading some great personal development books and listening to podcasts. Check out this article for my top 5 podcasts that will get you totally motivated and inspired to change your life.
My favorite books for this purpose are Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, and Do It Scared by Ruth Soukup.
Now that you know where you’re currently spending your time and where you’d actually like to be spending your time you can use that knowledge to start making some changes. You are not required to totally fill your calendar with things that don’t really matter to you. Life is too short to spend it doing things that don’t make you happy. So what are you going to change?