Are you chasing too many rabbits? I was, no doubt about it, because of my people-pleasingness.
Even if you’re not a people-pleaser, how do you choose which rabbit to chase? It’s really tempting to want it all, to try to achieve all of your goals at once. But, like chasing rabbits, you’re not going to have much success.
How do your goals fit into your life? You can’t put your life on hold on the road to achieving something, so how can you make them fit? What makes this goal worth the effort?
Before I had my children I was a very high achiever and always achieved my goals. In fact I was good at setting them and working towards them until I achieved them. This is what made me successful.
Once two more people (babies are people with lots of needs) squeezed into my life I forgot to reassess my time. I did not become ruthless about choosing goals and activities that meant something to me. The goals that made me come alive, the non-negotiable goals, were often buried in a jumble of obligations to other people, leaving me with not enough time or energy to get it all done. I knew, on some level, that I was wasting my personal resources on minor goals and other people’s agendas. Yet I felt all mothers felt this way and I felt powerless to do anything about it. In fact I functioned like before I had the kids and therefore time became everything.
We only have a certain amount of time every day to do what we need to do. Life is a soup of compromises but take a close look at your life: your choices and your lifestyle represent your values: if you value pleasing others, you will be stretched to the max; if you value time, you will be in a career that doesn’t demand much of you so you can ‘leave work at work’ (or one that makes you enough money to take time off and do what you want); if you value money, you’re probably a great investor and if you value relationships, your time is spent with family and friends.
Narrow your goals-focus to the top one or two that fit in with your values and lifestyle. Those are the rabbits most worth chasing.
Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.
Everyone’s balance is different. However, the key is, always respect your time and other peoples time. If I plan my day, week and month, I can achieve anything I want to do!
Keep downtime a priority and be in the moment. All work and no play makes Johnny (or Jenny) a boring boy (or girl)!
I once said to a friend that if I did not need to sleep I would have enough time. His answer was, “So you give up sleep and the hours you have back will only keep you happy for a short while before you are looking at stealing time from somewhere else.” My AHA moment here was that I needed to work smarter, not harder (and not longer hours)!
We all want to “get it all done.” However, that’s unrealistic and puts too much pressure on us. What I’ve learnt, in setting boundaries, being true to myself and becoming more self-aware is this:
- Let go of needing to get it all done. You can be a superhero and still not get it all done. Direct your energies at what’s essential for you. Delegate, ask for help, outsource, or simply let the unimportant things go. Never lose sight of your values and stick to the activities that honor those values. The irony is that it doesn’t take much time to take care of yourself, to keep your energy high, your body healthy and your mind relaxed and stress-free.
- Say no. Ha ha, that worked well for me, didn’t it? Only because I couldn’t! It’s okay – no, it’s right – that you say no to any commitments that aren’t aligned with your values and your priorities. Many of us underestimate how long something is going to take and how much of an energy drain it’s going to be. If you are tempted to say yes, factor in twice the amount of time you think it will take and then ask yourself, “Can I make this work? Can I fit it in without jeopardising everything else?” Focus on quality versus quantity.
- Get organised. I can’t tell you how much time is wasted searching for something that should be “right there.” Or deciding what to do next. This is where Time Blocking works – it is like a road map for your brain.
What is important is seldom urgent
and what is urgent is seldom important.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower