Who would we see if we were to take a peek into your calendar? Most of our calendars reflect the life of an overwhelmed, overworked, person who is living reactively pinging from one “have to do” activity to the next. Calendars have the potential to be a life-changing tool if we use them properly. However, more often than not they are a prison guard keeping us trapped in the vortex of a hurricane of tasks.
We go through life, living each day in reaction mode, attending meetings, conferences, completing tasks, and going places because we think we need to or feel obligated. Down-time rarely exists and when we get a day to slow down for a moment we end up crashing and sleeping half of it away.
We talk about wanting better work / life balance, a better marriage, better finances, and many of us to be better parents. But we’re so lost in the chaos of daily life that we don’t stop frequently enough to take steps to getting what we want.
I listened to a podcast the other day that really made me stop and think. How would my life look if I were to plan it around my dreams instead of my have-to’s? Who would I become?
There aren’t a lot of things we dream of that require super-human talents to accomplish. Most of them just take time and possibly a little bit of money.
- My daughter needs 50 hours of driving practice before she can get her license.
- Building a blog requires time to research, write, optimize, promote, and socialize.
- A college requires a certain number of credit hours before a student can earn a degree.
- A couple needs time together to deepen their relationship.
- Learning a skill, living a healthy life, and reaching a financial goal all require time and planning.
Time is constantly passing. April will come whether we choose to work ourself to exhaustion or spend the month of March drinking Mai Tai’s on a tropical beach. We can reach April as the exact same people we are today or we can be healthier, more knowledgeable on a topic, or deeper in love.
It’s time to make our dreams and priorities count. We need to take the financial approach of paying ourselves first and apply it to our calendars. We’ll never have the time to do what we want if we’re constantly planning our days around the needs and wants of others.
Instead of putting our dreams on the list when we have extra time, let’s plan them first. Put an hour on your calendar per week to take a class and learn a new skill. Plan family time and a date night for you and your significant other. Schedule yourself to listen to a training, podcast or book on tape during your workout or commute. Treat these appointments with the same importance you give your meetings at work and picking your kids up from soccer practice.
“My calendar is far less about what I have to get done. It’s far more about who I want to become.” ~Bill Hybels
A bunch of us bloggers have made Women’s Money Week a priority on our calendars with the hopes of inspiring women to take control of their finances. I wrote a post at FatWallet with three tips to help you be productive and stress free. Here is a list of everyone’s posts on today’s topic, Finding Time & Increasing Productivity here.
So who do you want to become? Is that a priority on your calendar?