And by that, Richard Beck meant that we show what’s important to us by giving it our time, time that we will never get back because we have a set amount, and then we die.
I promise I’ll stop talking so much about death in the rest of the series, but for these first two posts to work – knowing what’s important to me and giving it my time – I have to accept that death is a part of my story.
(Perhaps the cultural myth that we can “have it all” is swallowed partially because people don’t want to face their own mortality. But that’s a thought for another time.)
The other side of knowing my priorities has been learning to honor them with my time.
Here’s what this looks like in my life, practically speaking:
1. I make a schedule.
It’s not set in stone, but it does exist. A schedule gives me the ability to deliberately plan how my time is spent (and therefore what’s important to me) instead of making reactionary decisions on the spot.
2. I plan the essentials first.
Work and time to write go on the schedule first. Time with Brian or family, especially during the holidays, also fits in this category.
3. I plan rest second.
In order to invest in my life, I need to invest in myself first. And to me that looks like quiet time in the morning to read, and quiet time in the evening to do…whatever. Draw. Take a bath. Have a glass of wine. Watch Netflix. Read more. And then go to bed on time.
(Telling myself it’s no longer acceptable to think about tasks takes some mental discipline, but I’m getting better at it with practice.)
4. Everything else has to fit between the essentials and rest.
If I have time for yoga practice, awesome. If it doesn’t fit that day between writing, dinner with family, and rest time, no worries. Same with chores. Or my social life. Recognizing which tasks are secondary has resolved a lot anxiety for me.
If knowing my priorities is the theory, ordering my days in a way that honors them is the practice.
Read the rest of the Success Is series here: