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Live a Life You Love: 5 Steps to Set Your Priorities Straight

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https://tinybuddha.com/blog/live-a-life-you-love-5-steps-to-set-your-priorities-straight/

tinybuddha.com

Live a Life You Love: 5 Steps to Set Your Priorities Straight
"It's not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?" ~Henry David Thoreau About a month ago I decided to add more at-home exercise to my schedule.

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Take a break

Think about your life. What is really important to you? How would you like to live your life?

Write down the things that are truly important to you, the things that ten years from now...

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The things you are doing every day

  • Write them down. For example, wake up, eat breakfast, go to work…
  • Highlight the tasks that you do daily that are in line with your priorities.
  • The highlighted stuff is the i...

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Cut down on the urgent stuff

  • Some “urgent” activities will just need to go. Maybe you can wait until later after all to check your picture on Facebook.
  • Some “urgent” activities will need to be delegated....

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Run a test week

Try your new life for one week to see in practice what works for you, and then make appropriate changes.

It might take you a couple of weeks to clear th...

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Add the important stuff

  • Put in your activities that match your priorities. Make sure they are feasible. For example, if you feel you still don’t have enough time to go to the gym...

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Balance is not the same as rest

It’s not about rest and finally getting that much-needed break, though it does include these aspects.

Balance is about distributing demands so we can stay on track. And sometimes that...

Balance is dynamic

Momentum helps us stay on course. It’s the same for all the corrections and adjustments we make along the way. 

Balance requires tweaking our schedule, task lists, and more. If you have it right one week, it still requires attention the next.

Balance is intentional

We have to make purposeful decisions and actions if we want balance. It’s not accidental. 

Those decisions and actions will look different for each of us, but they’re essential for all of us just the same.

“Work, Play, Fit, Push” Framework

“Work, Play, Fit, Push”  Framework

1. Set priorities on Sunday.

2. Map out work (limit to top 3), play, fit (plan for at least 30 minutes each day), and push (do something that scares yo...

The Planning Fallacy

We all have busy schedules, but we are incorrectly planning our day around the time we have, not around priorities.

Our estimates on how long certain tasks will take are almost always ...

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important."

The 4 Kinds of Priorities

The Decision Matrix on how to approach tasks has 4 quadrants:

  • Quadrant 1: The Urgent Problems which are important.
  • Quadrant 2: Not Urgent but important tasks
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but not really important
  • Quadrant  4: Distractions and time-wasting tasks. 

Prioritize the important (Quadrant 2) to attain maximum benefit from your work.

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Getting an early start

Getting an early start

Plan your morning the night before and stick to your plan. 
If a new task comes in that isn’t 100% urgent, designate a time that you’ll work on it uninterrupted or try to delegate the probl...

Deciding where to work

  • If you know you’re more likely to work from home, invest in comfortable furniture; you feel good it will inspire you to get work done.
  • If you want to join a local co-working space but are intimidated by the price point, ask about smaller memberships to start.

Prioritizing tasks

Don’t let your skepticism about productivity hacks get in the way of finding a technique that suits you and helps you get things done.
If you’re still having a hard time identifying priorities, try working backward by identifying work that’s definitely not a priority. Eliminate those items and assess what’s left.

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Eliminate

See if you can cut your tasks and projects lists in half. Then try to cut them even further a few days later.

See which tasks aren't necessary anymore and find the ones that can be del...

Know what’s essential

You really should focus on one goal at a time, but if you want to do 2 or 3, that’s OK too.

Any smaller tasks are essential if they help you accomplish those goals, and not essential if they’re not related.

Simplify your commitments

You can't do it all. Only stick to those commitments in your life that really give you joy and value.

For the rest, you need to learn to say no, and value your time. 

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Understanding mindfulness

One of the reasons mindfulness seems hard is the fact that you don't understand it. Mindfulness doesn't mean perfect focus and happiness at all times.

Mindfulness is about choosing to...

Be curious

If you want to get better at practicing mindfulness, don't forget to be curious.

Sometimes the details of daily life aren’t all that enjoyable. Traffic is boring, and your colleague at work is annoying. But what if we stop wishing reality was different and got curious about it? We might not miss our freeway exit. And we’d learn that our coworker is going through a messy divorce. Life would feel a little bit easier.

Don't set unrealistic expectations

If you're struggling with mindfulness, maybe you’re making it bigger than it needs to be.

You can notice a wandering mind in the shower or while you’re drinking your coffee. You can take a deep breath before you hit send or snap at your spouse. And you can remember that no matter how spacey, forgetful, impulsive, or reactive you’ve been, you can always begin again.

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Creativity

  • The act of creating things is one of the best ways to avoid living a short, unimportant life. You get to contribute something to the world around you.
  • Creating new experiences hel...

Physicality

Too often, however, we take for granted the opportunity that our health gives us to live a life that’s true to us.

To accomplish the things we dream about, we are required to be makers, explorers, and creators. We are required to move and become active participants in life. 

Connection

Human beings are the most social creatures on planet earth. So, you're not really living a healthy life if it doesn't involve others.

The people you connect with will have a huge influence on you: Those who have already walked through the fire can help you do the same. And those who haven’t will make it seem impossible for you to do so.

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Rob Hill Sr.

“My goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from.”

Rob Hill Sr.

Creating the life you love

Make choices leading to the life you want to create for yourself. Don't let your past hold you back.

Your life might not seem to be the best fit for someone else, but it should a life you are happy with. Create a life you love.

How to create an authentic life

Start where you are right now.

  • Align your life with your own core values - those things that are most important to you personally.
  • Find time to do the activities you loved doing as a child. - join an activity group or take a class.

Listen to yourself and take action on what you discover.

Denying you have a problem

Stop saying that you don't have enough time to complete your commitments.

Admit that you need to get better at managing your time and start searching and trying techniques that will help you ...

Not planning your day

It's important to have an idea of what your daily priorities are and tasks you need to complete, preferably the night before. 

Also, make sure you prepare in the evening the outfit you're going to wear and the meals for the following day. Doing this will save time in the morning, and reduce decision fatigue.

"Urgent" vs "Important"

Take all of your tasks and place them into four quadrants:

  • To do first: the most important responsibilities that need to be done today or tomorrow.
  • Schedule: important tasks that are not urgent.
  • Delegate: essential items that are not important.
  • Don't do: tasks that aren't important or urgent. 

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The Importance of Scheduling

Scheduling is the art of planning your activities so that you can achieve your goals and priorities in the time you have available. It helps you:

  • Understand what you ca...

How to Schedule Your Time

Set a regular time to do your scheduling.

Decide on a scheduling tool to use to organize your time. You can use pen and paper or choose an app.

Identify Available Time

Start by establishing the time you want to make available for your work.

How much time you spend at work should reflect the design of your job and your personal goals in life.

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