We all only have three things: time, energy, and focus. And how we allocate those three things determines the outcome of everything important to us.
All too often, however, we drift. We stop making intentional choices on how we allocate these most precious and non-renewable resources, and it messes with the balance of our personal and professional priorities.
It’s normal and largely unavoidable from time to time, but consider this your reminder to check in every once in a while to ensure your life isn’t simply happening to you, but for you. Take time to consider how you’re allocating your time, energy, and focus, and determine whether they’re in the right balance for you.
That balance will shift depending on the phase of life you’re in, but it’s still important to stay cognizant and deliberate; otherwise, it’s just too easy to let the outside world determine how you’re spending your resources.
As you think about the balance of your time, energy, and focus, reflect on these questions to determine if you’re allocating them appropriately:
- Revisit your calendar from the last 2-3 work weeks. Make a pie chart or graph of how much time is allotted to each activity that is important to you. Follow your own values as you do this, but here are some sample activities to get you started: work, sleep, exercise, family, friends, being outside, recreation, thinking, reading, relaxing, reflection, spirituality.
- How does the representation look? What do you see? Does it match what you want? Is it in the right balance?
- If you’re not satisfied with the balance, what is one immediate, tangible, doable shift you can make right now, to get the results you want?
- Finally, identify the thing that causes this imbalance. Is it your inability to say no or to set a boundary? Is it guilt that you haven’t spent enough time with your kids? Are there too many distractions? Depending on where you land, what is one immediate, tangible, and doable shift you can make right now to address it?
Depending on how you spend them, your time, energy, and focus can either set you up for success or lead you down a path of frustration. With a little bit of thoughtful consideration and awareness, you’ll be able to stay in charge of these resources and, therefore, of the outcomes that are important to you.