If you've been following me for any significant length of time, you've heard me say that time is your most valuable asset and it is limited. You cannot do everything and there are thousands of things vying for your time constantly. Work, school, kids, partner, hobbies, media, friends, the to-do list, your dreams. It all costs you time and unless you are a magical time-traveling unicorn, then a yes to one thing is inevitably a no to something else. I cannot go to the PTA meeting and make that yoga class. I can do one of those things and they are both good and important things. So, I have to prioritize. I have to make a choice and sometimes that means saying no to something good, something I really would like to do. The truth is, if you do not prioritize your time, somebody else will. If you don't make a plan and make a conscious effort to protect your time, life will consume every second you've got before you even know what is happening. You will find yourself rushing from one thing to the next wondering how your day ever got so full and when you will ever get to the stuff that your heart yearns for. You will be living by default and not design.
I wasn't able to launch a creative business, a dream of mine, because I had a ton of free time and I was just looking for something to do. It happened because I made it happen. It happened because I carved out time for it. It happened because I made sacrifices. I said no to other good things because this was more important to me (sorry other things. #sorrynotsorry). And since I made that decision, I continue to be very protective of my time. I don't say yes to anything before carefully considering the following questions:
Does this activity serve me?
Does it get me closer to my goal?
Is it something I need to do?
Is it something I want to do?
If it's not something I need to do, what will I be sacrificing to do it?
I tell you all of this because I know everyone has a longing to do more of what they love. I know it's possible because I've been able to do it despite a million things working against me. There are ebbs and flows to this, times when priorities shift and how you spend your time has to change, and that's okay. Nothing is hard and fast. But what I don't want to find myself (or you!) doing is floating- letting life dictate how I spend my time, getting sucked into the blackhole of social media, staying stagnant on projects that I really want to be doing, being exhausted all the time. We get one shot at this thing called life and we should try to make the most of it.