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Align Your Priorities

When was the last time you took a vacation?

I know it can sometimes be hard for those of us who are entrepreneurs to let go. After all, will your business run without you? Can you trust being partially or totally unplugged? When can you possibly find the time to go on vacation with all you have to do?

Truthfully, you need time to relax and recharge. If you don’t allow time for that, I believe in the end, you are not as effective at our businesses, and it is ultimately detrimental to your overall health and well-being.

For me, the best way to insure a vacation is to schedule it. Calendarize it, even pay for it ahead of time, so it becomes a non-negotiable.

While any getaway to recharge and refocus should be a priority, you have lots of other priorities in your life that don’t always get on the calendar.

What are your priorities?

Have you thought about what you say are the priorities in your life? That can be watching your kids or grandkids play soccer, yet when the game comes up, you’ve got something else to do.

It can be spending quality time with your spouse by having a healthy dinner together, yet you continue to work well past dinner time.

It can be your own self-care — that swim class that renews you — yet you miss it continually.

It can be something as simple as setting aside 10 minutes a day to meditate, only again you can’t find the 10 minutes.

Focus on your priorities

Yes, we all have “things” that come up, but do you focus on your priorities? In order to get back on track, here are four steps.

Make a list of your priorities.

You know what they are. They are the most important things to you. You can name them, even though you may not act on them as priorities. From now on, consider them your non-negotiables.

Do a time audit.

Go back and look at your calendar and see how you are actually spending your time. Write it down.

Look for a disconnect.

Once you have a list of priorities and your time audit, compare the two. Are you actually spending your time on your priorities? Granted, you will have times when something comes up and you get caught off-priority. You can tell if this is occasional or the rule. 

Get out the calendar.

Calendarize time for those priorities first and stick to it.

The stick-to-it part is sometimes hard. Just be sure to remember why whatever you scheduled is a priority.

Once you’ve got them in place, it’s easy to work the other projects or commitments into the calendar. You will know how much time you are devoting to what projects and you can work on them in that time.

Best of all, you’ll enjoy your priority time without guilt and get more done in your business.

The first time I did this exercise, I was surprised by what I said was important and how it wasn’t reflected in the time in my day. When I start to feel disconnected, I go back and do this again. And the beginning of a New Year seems like a good time.

It’s your turn!

What did you discover in this process?

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4 Responses to “Align Your Priorities”

  1. Dena Dale Crain said:

    Morna, this is great advice. Your observations of how we spend our time doing what is immediately before us, rather than setting up, maintaining and sticking to a calendar, shows clearly why we often feel we lack time to participate in activities we deem important, why we all too often feel we “don’t have enough time.”

    Einstein told us a long time ago that time is relevant. We even possess a certain power to telescope time, making it longer or shorter, simply by changing our attitudes about it.

    I recently wrote an 8-part series of blog posts called Time-Saving for Quilters, There, I show how a change in my approach to my studio has given me more time to quilt than I ever dreamed possible.

    I would indeed like to use your blog post on the same subject, and will do that very soon. Right now, I have a husband in hospital, so the way I spend my time is not entirely my own. 😉

    Dena Dale Crain
    QuiltEd Online

  2. Pat Bishop said:

    Such simple advice, but what a valuable tool to keep myself on track. Thank you Morna!

  3. Morna said:

    Pat, You’re welcome. It’s that simple, but not easy concept.

  4. Morna said:

    Dena, I’ll go look for your blog posts. Yes, when we look at how we spend our time, it’s amazing how much we really do have for what’s important. And, feel free to share my blog post when the time is right.

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