Are you really doing what is most important to you? Want to know for sure?
Try this exercise: Do a time map. First, you come up with a list of your top five priorities (yes, only five!). Then choose colors to represent them. Look back at your past week. What did you do and when did you do it? Write it on a time grid and then color code those blocks with the corresponding priority they match. Keep in mind: this is not a schedule of your coming week; it’s an evaluation of the past. Here’s mine (for last week):
Here’s what I can tell from my map. I did pretty well spending time with my family last week (blue). I’m happy with the amount of time spent on friends (pink). I wish there had been more time to work my business (gray) but since I have to balance school right now… I’ll be able to focus on my business when school is over next week. You can see that I cheated on the five priorities and lumped “new house” in with “business.” I wanted to see how much time our building a new house was taking – not much now but I’ll have to focus on it in the future.
See how this can be a great tool? I’m already thinking of how to rearrange things for the future and I’m surprised at how much time I really am spending on what is important to me.
Here’s a link to the blank time map: time-map.doc
Good luck and happy mapping! Let me know what you discover!