I often hear the phrase, "Sorry, I'm too busy" spoken throughout my day. Sometimes I say it, sometimes my colleagues say it, and sometimes my family says it or I overhear a stranger say it. Since this phrase is used so commonly, it got me to thinking: Am I actually too busy? Am I too busy to spend time on my priorities in life?
To give you peak ahead into this post: No, I am not too busy! It's not about being busy, but rather about managing my time in a more effective way. Keep reading for how this practically plays out and how you can implement this in your own life.
From the outside looking in, I certainly may seem busy: I own and run an advertising agency that has clients throughout the Tri-State area; I have a family, a wife, 4 children, 2 dogs and a cat that I provide for and to take care of; I'm involved weekly in my local church as a lector; I am very involved in the Steubenville Rotary Club; I serve on several board of directors; and I often support Pittsburgh sports teams like the Pirates, Steelers, Penn State, etc. On top of that, I have regular responsibilities in life: owning and maintaining a home, a car, myself (which is a full time job, lol) and more.
Even though I'm involved in all of that, I am still only as "busy" as I allow myself to be. If I prioritize what I commit myself to, making sure that my priorities align with my values, then I will have my time well-managed and not be "busy." At the heart of managing your time is matching up your schedule with your values -- the things that are most important in your life. For me, that is my faith, my family, my friends, my health, and my company.
Here are a few practical tips for managing your own time:
Make a list of the Top 5 priorities in your life
- These are the things you value most. You must understand these before you can manage your time around them.
At the end of your day, look in the mirror and ask yourself what you did that day
- Walk through 15-minute intervals and think about whether or not you spent your time valuably. Do this for a week straight. You can even keep a journal of the time so you can see more visually what you did throughout your day.
Be honest with yourself
- If you aren't as busy as you thought you were, that's all right; just don't keep telling people you're too busy. Instead say, "Sorry, but I need to focus on my priorities first." People will understand and respect you for managing your time well.
- He outlines in Habit 3 that you must "Put First Things First" by managing your time around your values and offers great solutions for becoming more effective overall.
Remember, time management is all about ensuring your time matches up with your values, so take a good look at how you spend your time and make sure it matches up with what you value most in life.
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