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Don’t waste your time…

“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life.”
John C. Maxwell

I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment, but finding your purpose can be difficult - for a long time I didn’t know what my purpose was, until I realised it was a combination of some of the things that I do well, some of the things I enjoy, and a few of the things I want to learn.

(You can read about how I found my purpose, and how you might find yours, in this article).

And even though I am pretty clear on what my purpose is, there are plenty of times when this thing called ‘life’ gets in the way, making it difficult to focus on things which will advance that purpose.
But that’s OK, life can be complex and demanding at times, and just when you think that you’ve got things (relatively) under control, life throws you a massive curve-ball to deal with. Work challenges, family issues and medical problems can all divert us from our purpose, and there are plenty of happy diversions that can distract us too.

But regardless of the complexities of life, we always need to be intentional with our time.

As Jim Rohn says, “time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
So, how do YOU spend your time ? Do you plan your days, week and months meticulously, or do you start each day with a post-it note, a wing and a prayer ? Back in my corporate days I’d like to say that there was an overall plan for each day (I’d like to say it, but it wouldn’t be true), but in reality I let my e-mail inbox decide what I would be focusing on for the day.

These days I start each day with an intentional plan, identifying three or four key actions that relate to my long-term plan and purpose; if I’m feeling particularly focused, I also allocate blocks of time to my key tasks to make sure my plan is realistic. It doesn’t mean that I get everything done, and it doesn’t mean that I don’t get distracted by an urgent or important job (or something interesting/fun), but it does mean I’m very clear on what I am NOT doing instead.

So, before you waste the next 15, 30 or even 60 minutes on something unimportant, trivial or meaningless, think whether you could be using those minutes for something more worthwhile and important.

Our lives will always get in the way, but that doesn’t mean that we can waste our lives….

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