So last week I asked you about your ‘top 5%’… How’d you do?
If you are like me, you may have had some difficulty narrowing it down. What are you good at? What do you feel most passionate about? How do you have the greatest impact in any given setting? Much of this can be attributed to your innate personality or specialized training. Some of it is your environment or context, and don’t forget about your upbringing. It is great to take the time to evaluate your abilities and specialized design, but it might be a good idea to take another step back and evaluate why you do what you do.
With the ‘top 5%’ idea you are looking at how you prioritize your time by unique skills, ability, and interests. But this can continue to go askew in your life if you are not starting from the centre. As I mentioned in that last post, when I burned out these lists became foggy, and messy at best. Things in the lower mass of ability suddenly take precedence over the schedule, tasks that you could assign become energy burners, people you should be focused on take a backseat, etc, etc. So you do not want that to happen, agreed?
The level above your ‘top 5%’ is your set of priorities behind the priorities. They are what you value beyond what your skills can accomplish and your work time can fulfil. If you were to schedule your time based on what is most important in your life, these would be your guiding light. They feed the prioritization list for all events in your life and how you go about your day. For many this is a difficult list because it seems impossible to honour this list in all things you do in your week. But all lines of importance draw back to something as a foundation or starting point, so all I am asking you to do is draw the lines on your schedule.
Example: If you are a loving husband and say you are working 60 hours a week to make your wife happy, then you need to ask yourself what makes your wife happy. Rather, ask her. Unless she loves your absence then your line draws to some other value. If she loves the stuff you can buy with those hours of absence then you really need to talk about the values in your relationship. But it is more likely that you need to evaluate why you are using your wife as the excuse for the value you are holding in your extended work hours.
We can add plenty of examples to this list, but they need to be personal to you.
So here is the challenge. Go through the schedule you have set, or the week you have completed, and ask yourself this simple question: Who or what was valued in each of those items? Write them down in order and see whether that is actually how you are honouring each with your scheduling practices. Learn to spend the time needed to make a true value present in your practice.
There’s your challenge. You will always need to sacrifice somewhere when it comes to time, but you need to take hold of what you sacrifice, and make it your choice.