What a joy it was sharing ways to create a life we love – now, not someday – with Anita Brick of Chicago Booth School of Business on her Career Cast podcast. I’ve had the privilege of doing many interviews over the years, and this 20 minute discussion is an all time favorite. Hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed recording it.
One thing we focused on is how to create a list of our top 5 TRUE prirorities and our top 5 TIME priorities to see if they match. You can do this right now.
Simply write down your top 5 priorities. Here are some samples to kick-start your thinking.
4. Faith or religion or spiritual practice
5. Giving back – contribution.
Now, write down the top 5 things you spend time on every week. Be honest! For example:
2. More work
4. Social media and TV
5. Life Chores – eating, shopping, housecleaning, bills
Now, compare the two lists. Do they look anything alike?
A participant in a recent SOMEDAY salon said, “OMG, I don’t have anything from List 1 on List 2. The thing is, I don’t know what I can do about this because I work ALL THE TIME.”
I told him, “The key is to be realistic. We have bills to pay, jobs to do and other responsibilities, so it’s probably not an option to change EVERYTHING on your lists.
The goal is to make time for ONE 5-10 minute activity every day that fulfills at least one or two of your TRUE priorities.
For example, to fulfill your FAMILY priority, you could read or tell a story to your kids every night before they go to bed – even if you’re exhausted. I did that – and believe me, as someone who traveled a lot, there were many times I was running on empty – however both my sons tell me that’s one of their favorite memories from their childhood.
To fulfill your FRIENDS priority, why not pick up the phone and call a different friend every day to check in? It doesn’t have to be a long call, it’s just that some people I interviewed for my SOMEDAY book told me they often cancel out on social commitments with friends when they get “busy.” This is a regret waiting to happen. If we value our friends, we make time for them. A phone call a day to someone we care about is a way to put our calendar where our values are.
To honor your FAITH – RELIGION – SPIRITUAL PRACTICE priority, maybe you can meditate or create a mindfulness ritual. Perhaps you could pray before you go to bed, read Guideposts or the Bible, listen to an inspiring or uplifting podcast, or journal your intentions and reflections.
To meet your GIVING BACK – CONTRIBUTION priority, maybe you can make good on your intention to get that book you’ve been thinking about out into the world. Maybe you can pull a John Grisham and get up an hour early every morning to write before you go to your full-time job.
Busy? That’s no excuse for perpetually postponing a TRUE priority. Jacqueline Mitchard (the first Oprah pick with her book “The Deep End of the Ocean”) wrote 2 hours every afternoon while her 5 kids (!) were at school. As Bob Green says, “I’ve heard every excuse in the book, except a good one.”
Put a time on the calendar at least 3 times a week and sit down and apply what “Power of One” author Bryce Courtenay called “BUM GLUE!” Remember, don’t re-read what you’re written or you will rework what you’ve written. At the end of the week, you’ll have the same ten pages and they won’t necessarily be better, they’ll just be different. THe goal is to produce, produce, produce. Get it written, then get it right. Draft, then craft.
To fulfill your HEALTH priority, you might want to check out this five minute yin-yang QiGong exercise video demonstrated by Master ChunyiLin. It has almost miraculous powers to calm your mind and body, and expand your energy.
I can personally vouch for the work of Master ChunyiLin. When I had a health scare several months ago, I was privileged to work with him. Suffice it to say, 5 weeks after a very serious diagnosis, my tests came back clear. Thank you ChunyiLin!
In fact, as I write this, I’m re-committing to do this QiGong ritual every single morning right after I wake up – BEFORE I get my morning coffee and BEFORE I check email or social media.
I may not be able to control what happens the rest of the day; but starting the day with these simultaneously centering yet energizing movements is a way to honor my TRUE priority of health.
Surely the gift of health is worth ten minutes a day?
How about you?
What are your top five TRUE priorities? What are your top five TIME priorities?
What will you do – today, not someday – to bring them more into alignment?