Let’s face it. Life can, at times, be overwhelming. With so much to keep us busy in our everyday lives things can get a bit out of hand. Learning to properly prioritize what’s important in life comes in handy down the road, yet unfortunately many of us aren’t very good at deciding what really matters. I’ll be the first to admit that prioritizing has been a weak point of mine for quite sometime, but I’ve slowly discovered ways in which you can make decisions much less stressful while staying congruent with what you want out of life. I’ve found by asking yourself a few questions when deciding how you spend your time, you can increase your productivity and overall happiness substantially. Asking questions not only helps you get more done but also allows you to do work that matters rather than just going through the motions. The following are 5 questions to ask yourself when reflecting on your current life path.
What If I Didn’t Do This?
When you’re contemplating starting a new habit or life direction start with the question: What would happen if I didn’t do it? If you didn’t start a new business would you remain miserable, hating your current career? If you didn’t exercise would your health continue to suffer? If you didn’t check email would your business implode? If you didn’t follow your passion would you be cheating the world out of something great? If you didn’t spend time with your family would your bonds continue to grow? If by inaction the world doesn’t become worse off chances are your time could be better spent.
On the contrary if you’re inaction fails to better the world and those around you, you may want to take the leap and do what you can to make tomorrow an improved yesterday. Asking yourself if what you choose to do will matter is an important step in setting proper priorities in your life.
Will This Benefit A Year Down The Road?
The fact of the matter is, many of those who claim to be “busy” are busy doing non important stuff. While there are obviously some daily chores you have to take care of, it’s important to maximize your time with actions that will benefit the future. Will what you’re doing just have a short term affect? Or will it have a lasting impact a year from now? If you focus on where your actions will take you in the future you’re more likely to choose the ones that will pay off down the road. Don’t waste your time with activities that will only please you for today or tomorrow
. Instead spend your time working for a better future and progression in your goals. While writing this blog post I had numerous urges to check Twitter and Facebook but I knew that writing this article would prove to be more beneficial in the long run. Don’t settle for the short run, remind yourself that your actions now affects the world for years to come. In every endeavor you choose to take on, make sure you’re not only thinking about now but keeping the future in mind as well.
What Are My Motivations?
It’s not my place to judge why you do or don’t do something but you at least owe it to yourself to know why you’re going down a particular path. Are your actions geared to benefit you? Or are you doing it for the good of others? Perhaps you’re you’re doing both. Are you trying to make money with you current goals? Are you hoping to improve your brand among your peers? Or an different reason entirely?
Becoming aware of why you’re doing some of the things you do can pay significant dividends in discovering what does or doesn’t inspire you. Inspiration to you is like the what the sun is to the earth. Life can only exist in a climate rich with inspiration. Make sure that your current path is being walked not because your friends or family want you to, but because that’s the path you know you need to walk. Don’t lie to yourself about your motivations. Be open to the reasons you act the way you do. It’s quite easy to tell if you’re hearts in what you’re doing or if you’re simply putting on a show. What are your motivations? Are you being honest with yourself?
Does It Matter?
A simple yet powerful question people often forget to ask. Does it matter?
At the end of the day everything you do should be of some worth to you or someone else. For an entire day get in the habit of asking yourself “does it matter?” when you’re contemplating on what steps to take next. Does spending time with your kids matter? Does writing a blog post that could benefit hundreds of people matter? Does checking Facebook? Email? Or Twitter matter? That’s up for you to decide. Does it matter? If not don’t waste your time.
Is This Consistent With Who I Want To Be?
When walking down an new and exciting path it’s often useful to check in with yourself. Would the person you want to be do this? Would they they be walking down this road? While I sincerely believe the majority of people have good intentions we all get lost every now and again. This doesn’t make you a bad person but that doesn’t excuse you from checking in with the person upstairs. There have been times in my life where I knew what I was doing was wrong yet I continued to do them anyways. It wasn’t long before I knew I had strayed from the person I wanted to be and quickly recovered. If what you’re doing doesn’t resonate with your values and beliefs it’s entirely up to you to realign so that they fit the bill of who you want to be
. This isn’t always easy of course, but in the end you know whether you’re where you want to be. Don’t waste another day going through the motions. Take a moment to figure out the life you really want to live. What are your priorities? Are are your actions consistent with what you really want? Or are you spinning your wheels pretending you’re someone you’re not? If so a conversation with yourself may do the trick.