This is the third in an irregularly appearing series of mini-TIps of the Day (or tidbits).
TIDBIT #3: Make time for what you care about. And do it first.
Have you ever had this experience? You decide that on a particular day, you want to spend some time on something important to you— something that makes you feel like you. Maybe it’s drawing or cooking; maybe it’s working on the business you want to launch; maybe it’s your meditation practice or exercise regimen; maybe it’s writing a story; maybe it’s even doing some reading.
You get to the chunk of free time you have. You can spend it on what you really want to do. But you have other things that you could do too— housework, catching up on email, tv, facebook… you get the idea. So, what do you do? You spend it on the other things first— just to to get warmed up or to clear the way for the meaningful stuff. But you know what: you never get to the meaningful stuff. Or if you do, it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes.
One of the things that I am struck by as an individual and as a coach is how we create non-negotiables for ourselves in our schedule for the things we don’t necessarily love— going to and from a job we don’t enjoy, paying our utility bills so they don’t get cut off, errands, and so on and so forth. Yet we don’t similarly block out time for the things we love, for the things that make us feel like ourselves. Instead, we push them to the back burner. We make excuses for why we can postpone doing them, why we should postpone doing them. Or we engage every day in non-essential drains on our time (Angry Birds, ebay, televised sports, reality television, anyone?).
So, try something new next week: think of the thing you love doing the most. Block out an hour in your schedule next week to do it, just like you would for a dentist appointment. That time is non-negotiable now. (Think $25 missed appointment charge.) And make sure to hold yourself to it.
Try this too: the next time you have a block of time during which you have a choice of things you can do— including the above-selected thing you love most— do the thing you love first, and then do the rest.
Pay attention to what that experience is like— the challenges and resistance to doing so, and the feelings you experience when you do what you love anyway.
Troubleshoot the challenges. Revel in the victories. And remember that the more you practice these 2 little changes to your life, the easier they’ll get.