How often do you purposely spend time working toward a goal you set ? If you’re thinking “Right now, I’m working toward getting my kids to school (dressed appropriately) and then getting myself to work (on time) and then showing up to that program tonight (without excess traffic, homework or dinner drama),” I get it! Most of us spend most of our time just making our daily lives run. But it’s worth stopping to ask whether some of this time could be used another way. You might even be losing time to activities that feel out of sync with the Real You. If you want to recover lost time, here’s a helpful new rule: Spend time on purpose.
NEW RULE: Recover lost time by spending it on purpose
If you suspect you might be chasing someone else’s dreams rather than your own . . .
Or if you find yourself spending time “on accident,” rather than on purpose . . .
And maybe you are just tired of feeling like you are losing time . . .
then do this Hard Thing Worth Doing (#HTWD) and make sure most of your time is spent in sync with the Real You.
In previous posts, we’ve been talking about the rules you use. They are the habits you repeat, the standards you use when making decisions and the guardrails you set for yourself. If these guides and actions aren’t aligned with the strengths and drives of your God-given inner design (a.k.a., the Real You) they will inevitably fail. These rules fail you NOT because they are bad advice or haven’t withstood the test of time. They fail you because:
- They either don’t require you to use your inner strengths correctly
- Or they effectively oppose your inner strengths – creating ANXIETY, LOST TIME and FRUSTRATED GOALS.
In either case, your purpose becomes difficult to encounter and a sense of fulfillment eludes you. If rules you use don’t assist you in discovering your purpose and sense of fulfillment, what good are they?
Using the “Test of Time” (on purpose)
A beloved teacher became known in my circle of friends for saying this before every test — of any kind: “You’ve got 5 minutes . . . aaaaaaaand. . . Begin!” It didn’t matter if it was a simple spelling test, a high-stakes standardized test, or just something important we all felt we needed to complete . . . we started quoting her.
So how about it?! Using the “Test of Time” – 5 minutes to be exact – you can check to see if you are spending your time on point and with purpose. Consider it a “call to action” when you want to evaluate your goals, re-align them with the pursuit of your purpose, or simply recover lost time.
You’ve got 5 minutes . . .
If you are willing to spend 5 minutes once a week evaluating the way you spend time, EXCELLENT! Here’s how you do it:
STEP 1: Identify any regular, time-intensive activity you suspect could be a time-waster.
STEP 2: Make sure you know about the Real You:
Knowing the drives that are operating your inner design and correctly using your inner strengths are critical to spending time on purpose and moving toward your purpose.
STEP 3: Ask these questions:
- Is this way of spending time IN or OUT of sync with your inner design?
- How does it help the Real You achieve your most important goals? Be specific and write down the details.
- Do you need to make a minor change or a major overhaul to re-align this activity with meeting your goals?
- Or do you need to just stop this activity entirely?
When you are living by rules that stand in opposition to your inner strengths rather than aligned with them, they will be rules that get you off track.
Here’s to your success in getting lost time back! More rule-challenging Q&A next week. Till then . . .