As we continue to navigate a mainly digital world, there have been a lot of changes. Some of these changes are good, like working with our pjs on, and some are bad, like not being able to spend time with family and friends in person. As the world continues to change, we of course have no choice but to change with it, and that can sometimes steer us off course from our original vision and mission.
It’s only natural - we are trying to stay productive, keep food on the table and keep paying our bills. If that means taking on a new client, taking on a new role at work or finding a new job that can provide for ourselves and our family, that’s the most important thing. But, as the time ticks on and we start to get more familiar with our new environments, we can start to realize we may be off course from our original “why”.
We’ve talked a lot about your “why” - it’s your motivation and what drives you to show up every day. It could be your family, it could be your mission to serve others, it could be to change the industry you’re in for the better. Just because you aren’t spending 100% of your time in your “why” doesn’t mean you can’t continue to work towards it.
It’s important to remember that you can’t make any progress if you’re constantly worried about where the money is going to come from and paying bills. Spending 25% of your time intentionally focused on working towards your “why” is much more effective than 100% of desperate and panicked efforts in that direction.
To find the time we want to devote to our vision, we have to take a critical look at our schedules, our priorities and our responsibilities. Only when we understand where our time is currently going can we start to refocus our efforts and scale back on what may not be important. We have to remember to save room to say yes to the things that light us up. Maybe your full time job is a necessity, but in those extra hours you have, don’t say yes to just anything that comes your way.
Tracking Your Time
Refocusing is important to do every time we notice we’ve gone slightly off track. When you feel stuck or overwhelmed, start to track what you are actually spending your time on. Did you spend 30 minutes on Instagram? Write it down. Did you check emails for 2 hours? Write it down. Sit on calls for 2 hours? You get it. Do this each day for about a week and notice what you are spending your time on. Do you need to let go of something that is a time suck and doesn’t fit into your vision? This is a hard thing to do, so be honest with yourself. Is this something you really want to do or just feel you should to stay busy?
Write Out Your Priorities
A good way to answer this next question is to create a priority chart. These are the things that absolutely need to get done each day. Rank them from most important to least important. Then write the number of hours it will take you to get them done. This should include personal and work priorities - many times we forget to add our personal to-dos to the list. Cooking, cleaning, workouts, etc. are all important to add to your priorities.
Compare and Reflect
Take a hard look at this list and compare them with the time tracker lists from the week. Are these priorities where your time is going? Are there any low priority items taking up too much of your time? Comparing these two lists can be a much needed reality check for us to reshape our schedules and our focus.
Refocusing is a great way to declutter our to-do lists and work more intentionally towards the progress we want to make. Next time you feel stuck and overwhelmed, make the effort to track your time, list out your priorities and compare the two to create a renewed focus on what matters.