The other day I was listening to some talk radio and the host brought up the point that we humans in our modern world should have an incredible amount of free time compared to our grandparent’s day and age. With the technology of the dishwasher, we can hit a button and have our dishes cleaned while we do something else. We can drive up to a restaurant, never leave our cars and have dinner in about 3 minutes. And in fact, we can have toilet paper and other necessities placed on our doorstep so we never have to leave the house (Hallllllo! We have Amazon!)! But with all that extra free time – he posed the question – What are we doing with it?
If I’m going to be honest with myself, I would say I spend a lot of it perusing facebook, texting with someone, watching the latest show on tv, getting fired up about world issues or our political climate and then spend resulting time feeling irritated or depressed about our current events. I’m not creating a focused or productive environment for myself. I’m filling up my time with entertainment, which does not align with my goals for myself.
So this is what I want you to spend 5 minutes doing today. A short exercise.
- What are your goals for the year?
- High level estimate, on an average day, how much time do you focus on facebook, television, articles, partying/hangovers, emotional distress over current events or circumstances in your life, [insert your own criteria]?
- What emotions do you feel as a result partaking in your answers for number 2?
- Which of these emotions do not align with the fruition of your goals?
- How much time is spent feeling the emotions listed in number 4?
- Add together your answers from 2 and 5 together.
- What is your ideal hourly rate? What would you love to be paid? In other words, if you were paid this much, things would be pretty good for you.
- Multiply your answers from 6 and 7 together.
Sit with that number for a minute.
This is how much you are willing to pay on average, every day, to not achieve your goals. Are you willing to pay that much to end 2017 almost as you left this last year?
What really matters to you? What would you like to be doing? Where would you like to spend your time? Working on and actually accomplishing your goals? Being prepared for the next day so you come out the gate running? Just spending time in reflection on the day and who you were in it? More 1-on-1 time (present and focused) with your friends and family, creating meaningful, joyful experiences?
What do you want? And how are you creating it? And what must you leave behind in 2016 so that your time is aligned with what you want in 2017? Waiting and diverting our attention won’t get us to our goals. We must do the work! Change your focus and you will change your life.