Creating the life we want requires intention and focus, particularly to ensure the way we are spending our time is in alignment with what brings us the most joy and fulfillment. It’s all too easy to just fall into the rut of responding and reacting, playing tennis (or catch, perhaps?) with the balls that are thrown our way each day.
Living from a place of power and meaning asks us to be more purposeful in how we invest our time, focusing on the things that are most important to us and shifting the things that we have to do but don’t value as much to a lower percentage of our time.
Use whatever format works for you to create this chart. Some options are a large piece of paper, a spreadsheet, a drawing – whatever feels like a fit for you. The idea is for the exercise to feel enjoyable and creative, not like a chore.
Think about the kind of work you do and identify the major categories – or “buckets”- that your work fits into today and in the near future. Put each one down as a heading. For example, my three are business development, content creation, and content delivery. Then under each heading list the major things that comprise it. So for my business development bucket, I would put down networking events, coffee meetings with people, and public speaking to name a few. For content creation it would be things like writing, developing workshops, creating presentations, and for content delivery it would be coaching, leading workshops, and consulting.
List the work you are currently doing and the work you want to do. List whatever ideas you can think of under each heading, don’t worry about it being perfect. Having more is better than having less so don’t be too picky if you put things down that you don’t do often or don’t do yet. Have fun with it. Feel free to use drawings rather than words, or whatever depiction of the components makes sense for you.
Once you have the major buckets and their components defined, take a look at what percentage of your time you spend on each bucket today. Then choose a time horizon that makes sense for you – it might be a month, three months, six months. I would encourage you to stay within a year, as this is meant to be about your immediate future more than your long term.
Decide what percentage of your time you’d like to spend in each bucket at the end of that time horizon, and note it on the chart. This is meant to be a picture of what you’d really like to be doing while still keeping in mind what you need to do your job or run your business. So for example, you might be spending 50% of your time in marketing today, but you’d like to get it to 35% by the end of three months. Or you’d like your writing to go from 10% to 40%. Etc.
Reflection questions to consider after you’ve made the chart:
- Which bucket needs the biggest shift to get you to where you’d like it to be?
- What are the elements in that bucket that are most accessible to you right now? What could you start doing that would be relatively easy and would shift the percentage of time closer to your ideal?
- What can you choose to let go of in order to make space for what you want more of?
- What would be hardest to let go of or reduce?
The best way to be inspired and learn from each other is to share our ideas, so please come to the Brave Leaps Facebook page and share your answers! Tell us what you’d like to shift, what you can make space for to get closer to your ideal life.