Like so many, are you working hard to save up to one day have the life you really want? When will that actually work out? Do you really want to wait that long?
If you list, in order from 1 to 10, the things in life that are most important to you and that you love the most, does that reflect how your time is spent? Do you spend the most time on what’s most important to you and cherished by you?
Sadly, for most people, the answer to these question is a resounding “no”! All too commonly, people are caught on the hamster wheel of work….taught by school, university, corporate life and the people you’re surrounded by, that working hard for a career is how to then have the life you want. It’s a step-by-step evolution – school, then uni, then job, then next job and, before you know it, you reach the end, you’re 65 and you’ve ended up wherever you’ve happened to end up!
Yet surely if people were being honest and were to define their ideal life, they would prefer to have it sooner! It seems ironic at best, tragic at worst, that so many people are subconsciously choosing to not have what they want……but how can you change it?
Potentially, it’s too big a subject to address fully in one post so I’ll simply make a number of observations that lead to simple steps people can take to accelerate the speed with which they have the life they want.
- Have you actually defined your ideal life, written it down and do you refer to it regularly? I suspect not. Without at least defining the objective, what are the chances of reaching it in the most efficient way? Very small! This should be a comprehensive definition; ranging from your biggest dreams to the detail of what an ideal day, week and month would look like for you. It should not be a plan for work and then a plan for life; the two of which you try to balance. It should just be a plan for life, which includes all elements of life.
- Have you explored all of the options for increasing both efficiency and flexibility in your work? Do you plan effectively and execute with discipline? Do you utilize commute time to read or listen to audio books? Can you do some work remotely to reduce commute time? If you can win back 15 minutes a day, that’s over 90 hours a year to spend on the things you love!
- Have you mastered time management? It’s the only asset we’ll all run out of, yet throughout the established education process, we’re never taught how to manage it. Do you tend to procrastinate on the big, difficult and less urgent things? Let’s be honest, planning never feels urgent so is often the first thing to be distracted from. Do you spend much time doing thing which are neither urgent nor important? Remember, if you waste 15 minutes a day, in the course of a year that adds up to over 90 hours – yes, 2 working weeks! Would you like an extra couple of weeks each year to spend on what you love? Do you value and respect your time? If you set aside an hour to think and plan, will you stick to that time and focus on it in the same way you would an important meeting?
The truth is that you’ll need to work hard at some stages to make it happen; but that should only be for a limited time, to a very clear plan and towards a very clear destination – having the life you really want!
For many people, some of this won’t be easy but it is straightforward; define where you want to get to and how you might get there, set up your day-to-day life to maximize the time you have for yourself and then manage your time with skill and discipline. Good luck and enjoy!