Are you using the wrong instrument to manage your life?
The clock by default is used daily. It’s an unforgiving instrument that has limitations and consequences.
Only twenty-four hours exist in each day, no more no less. You can only have twenty-four and you may not allocate more time. Once the hour has passed it is gone. Racing against the clock every day has you focused on working harder, smarter, and faster but gets you know where. At the end of each day, you will have raced against time while running on a treadmill.
Ask yourself these three questions about your life:
- Am I giving the time to the things that matter most in my life?
- Is my life meaningful?
- Am I achieving and making progress towards what I want?
- Do you feel drained daily, torn between demands and decision making?
I admit that on average each person has about 30,000 days in this life. That is not a lot of time to accomplish all your desires but is enough time to make a significant impact in the lives of others if you approach your life in a purposeful manner.
The compass is the instrument that is most effective in life. It teaches us to live, love, learn and leave a legacy. It points to the direction we should focus our lives, true north. True north resembles your vision – the destination of your life, your purpose, your mission. The compass is a combination of these things that also include your values and strengths. When you understand how you are created and the tools that you are equipped with then can you live that rich and satisfying life.
Life gave me a wake-up call that felt like a crisis. At that moment I began realizing, I wasn’t doing what was important. My time was focused on commitments and schedules rather than relationships and value. I searched for all the shortcuts. Attempted to become more efficient so I could allocate more time elsewhere. What I received was more tasks and the same amount of time to complete them, adding quantity over quality, tediously minute managing the day. It was affecting my performance, my team, relationships, home, and goals.
I was at the point of exhaustion, not wanting to get out of bed in the morning and passing out at the first moment I could sit and relax. Trying every technique and tool I could find. I used digital calendars, syncing with every device I owned with pop up reminders, created task-list, mimic the scheduling techniques of men like Benjamin Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt. After trying a few smartphone apps, Eternity Time Log was helpful by showing me where I was spending time but ineffective at managing it. Crisis mode hit, I was destructing relationships and I wasn’t a pleasant person, I felt torn after being placed on a torture rack. Sitting down finally, I examined my life.
I analyzed the things that I valued that were important to me for example, Family, Spirituality, Self-development, Profession. Then I mapped out my goals related to those values and how they may be connected to one another and defined my focus.
The problem was that my vision was fuzzy. I was focused on the circle of influence and concern rather than me and what I could effectively control. Noticing I had two visions, the near term, and the long term. I began to bring the two closer and interconnect them. This reduced the sense of urgency with careful planning and quarterly goal setting. Each week I began to analyze the past week, its success and failures.
Then asking myself these questions while goal setting for the next quarter.
- What do I want?
- Why do I want it?
- How am I going to get it?
- Does it fall in line with my principles and values?
Asking yourself these questions puts yourself in touch with your values. It gives your decisions integrity and satisfaction that you made the right choices based on your principles. If you begin to rationalize with yourself and make excuses about the decisions you make, then you need to stop yourself and start over, your not using your moral compass that points you into making the right choices for the right reasons. Each day is a battle against urgency and people pleasing addiction this is like crack for drug users. You have to consciously put yourself into focus each day.
My morning routine looks like this.
A smartphone app called Coach.me is a fun tool to keep you motivated. I find it best to treat habit building like a game. To learn more about my morning habits and routine – download the men’s resource guide below.
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After a while you’ll begin to become flexible and agile in all your different roles in life, providing value. You will begin seeing ordinary results turn into extraordinary results. You will not break but bend and react quickly to things becoming flexible. You’ll stop worrying about who is right or wrong or what others are thinking. You will begin doing what works for you and become your authentic self, feeling happy, peaceful, secure, balanced and purposeful. Recognize your obsession with time and find your purpose.
The compass is the instrument of choice, so stop looking at the clock and add quality and peace to your life. Every person can get extraordinary results by using your internal compass. Clarify your vision, find your purpose and act upon those things that align with your values and strengths. Be courageous and turn away from the direction the rest of the herd is headed before you run off the cliff.