How often do you find yourself rushing through life, trying to get ‘on top of things’, smashing out goals and projects – always looking at the next thing on the list – without ever stopping to smell the roses? How often, when someone asks you how you’re doing, you answer, “I’m so busy”? It almost seems the cool and trendy thing to be ‘so busy’, like you’re part of some busy-person club or competition.
When I came back from the UK, and was struggling to regain my mojo, I had to deliberately choose what I gave my attention to, as I didn’t have a lot of energy and certainly none to waste. During this time I stumbled across an article entitled “The subtle art of not giving a f@*k”, which was actually a very good summary of how to choose your priorities so you’re putting your time, energy and attention into people and projects that are of value, that are worth giving a f@*k about.
Being deliberate about how you live your life makes it much more meaningful and enjoyable. Some of the things I’ve done over the last few months to narrow my focus include:
- Switching off from Facebook, including turning off all FB notifications and emails
- Unsubscribing from a large number of email newsletters, staying connected only to those that I actually read
- Being part of groups of people with whom I share the same values, and socialising and networking with people I choose to (rather than feeling I ‘should’)
- Putting more time and energy into working in my garden, and less at the gym
- Putting more time and energy into helping my current clients and less into marketing to find the next one
As we draw towards the end of the year, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on 2017, to figure out what’s working and what’s not, and if your life is heading in the right direction.
In reflecting on your year, it’s important to ask good questions such as:
- What did you achieve that you’re most proud of and why?
- What did you enjoy doing most?
- What worked well for you this year and why?
- What didn’t work well this year and why?
- What are you going to do more of or get better at in 2018?
- What are you going to ditch or do less of in 2018?
In planning ahead, look for areas that you’d like to focus on or improve. These may be projects you’d like to tackle, or habits you’d like to develop. The reason New Year’s resolutions don’t work is that people seem to think they can change their behaviour overnight, but it doesn’t happen this way. Behaviour is made up of a series of habits, so write out a list of useful habits you’d like to adopt that will help you make appropriate changes in your life, and then choose one to focus on at a time. By taking baby steps, you allow yourself time to grow into the successful/healthy/wealthy person you’d like to be.
If it’s a large project you’d like to achieve over the course of the year, break it down into bite-sized pieces and plan out when and how you’re going to tackle each piece.
If you want to have a really successful 2018, write out your list of projects and goals, then trim it back to what’s most important – really narrow your focus. Learn to avoid distractions and say ‘no’ to what’s not important and ‘yes’ to what is. This way, you’ll be focussed and productive in a positive way, and not ‘so busy’ that you’re still able to smell the roses and enjoy the life you’re deliberately creating.