One of my favourite quotes at the moment is by Seth Godin:
You don’t need more time; you just need to decide.
Most of us have a reasonable understanding that our time is precious, yet more than ever, we live in an age filled to the brim with ‘time-wasters’.
I’ve been challenged recently to think more about how I spend this precious commodity of time, and Seth Godin’s quote keeps reminding me that, outside of major life crisis, how I spend my time is my decision.
I’ve started to view everything I do through the lens of ‘Is this activity in keeping with my values?’. And that’s not as strict and rigid as it sounds.
If I value relationships, then any activity or contact with people is significant and in keeping with my values. This means that a day spent with my daughter shopping and having cups of tea is not wasted even though I don’t much value shopping and consumerism. What I do value is maintaining a good relationship with my daughter, and a good cup of tea, of course!
You see, you can easily find what your values are by having a close look at how you spend your time and whether the actual priority and the perceived priority are the same. Sometimes we think our priorities are one thing but if we examine how we are spending our time, it reveals something quite different.
By keeping the question of whether or not an activity serves our values in the forefront of our minds, we can begin to make better decisions. And it stops us from wasting time because really, there is enough time to do all we need to do, we just need to be better managers of it.
I’m finding I have greater satisfaction at the end of the day if I simply remember to do this. I can go to sleep each night knowing I’ve made choices that reinforce my values, which for me, are usually all about relationships – upwards, outwards and inwards.
We all want our life to have meaning. What we often don’t realise is that we are the keepers of whether it does or not. We are free to choose, each and every day, whether we advance our values or hinder them. We get to choose what our life looks like, regardless of our circumstances.
We are constantly making choices, whether we are conscious of it or not. If we start being aware of our choices and what it says about our values, we can begin to align the two and live a life of meaning and richness.