Prioritising a great boost to our wellbeing
The most important asset any of us have is time. How we spend it is key and very telling. When we spend our time doing things that are important to us, we gain satisfaction which brings true happiness and is a great boost to our wellbeing. We are in balance. There is a reason to get out of bed. We feel motivated.
The 'Eisenhower Method' a very insightful method in time management and prioritizing stems from a quote attributed Dwight D. Eisenhower: 'I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.'
If you want to learn to prioritise effectively, write down a list of all the tasks you do on a weekly and monthly basis. Identify what is urgent and what is important. Some things are urgent and some are important. Assess the value. List tasks in order of estimated effort it takes to complete. Time is fixed. Everything else is flexible. Be open to cutting things.
When we do what is important, we feel fulfilled and achieve our goals and dreams. What is urgent is generally related to helping others achieve theirs.
Urgent tasks generally consist of things like phone calls, deadlines and matters that need to be addressed quickly or 'now'. Responding to an email that 'has to be done' is usually urgent.
Important tasks are generally those that contribute to your long-term goals.
Some few things are both urgent and important. To be urgent and important, they are tasks that require immediate attention and also contribute to fulfilment of your life goals. An offer of new business that has a tight timeline fits the criteria. Payroll, finance or tax and project reporting deadlines or an immediate health problem or a break down of your car also fit. Better planning can often reduce the number of urgent and important tasks. If you schedule time to keep your books up to date, finance reports could be finalised before the deadline.
Successful happy people spend most of their time on important tasks. Typical tasks relate to planning, self-development, strengthening your relationships and boosting your wellbeing. Examples include, meditation, exercise, studying, weekly planning, home maintenance and family time.
Spending maximum time on what is important brings the greatest happiness. For this to happen, you need a good understanding of your values and what matters most to you. This takes a bit of planning and self-reflection but is a key investment in your life. It is so easy to get caught in the trap of doing mainly urgent things and missing what is truly important to you.
Important things often get postponed until tomorrow which never comes. Life generally gets busier as we age until we retire or decide to change something.
We often spend a lot of time on urgent but not important tasks like texts, most emails, unplanned meetings to help someone else and drop in visitors.
Because we are often accommodating and helping others when doing urgent but not important tasks, these tasks often feel important. There needs to be a balance between getting your own work done and helping others do theirs.
Not urgent and not important tasks often relate to time spent playing computer games, watching tv or even time spent scrolling through social media or the internet. These activities are mainly distracting but also have their place.
This week, do a self-audit and see where you are spending your time. For optimal wellbeing and happiness, most of your time should be spend on what is important to you at work, rest and play. And adjust how you spend your time accordingly.