“What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you” – Seneca
Week Twenty Four
In this exercise, you will do a bit of data gathering to examine how you are currently spending your time. You will become more aware of how your time is being employed, so that you can more consciously plan how you use your time to reflect who you are.
Take a week to document how you are spending your time using daily charts. To make your chart, use column headings of Professional, Self care, Household, Relationships, and Miscellaneous and divide the rows up according to your waking hours. For example if you wake at 6 am, start then and make hourly divisions until the time you routinely go to sleep. Write in what you do during each time slot during the day. As you make entries, note how each activity you engage in makes you feel by adding an E for energizing, N for neutral, or D for draining.
This time awareness exercise is about discovery. It can be illuminating to find out what is happening. How you actually spend your time is often not quite what you assume!
When you have your daily charts completed over the course of a week:
1) List all the things you do in an average week. Identify each activity once even if you do it multiple times.
2) Compare your energizing and draining activities with the energy gainers and drainers you identified in Week Five. What activities do you want to include more or less of to better manage your energy reserves?
3) Refer back to Week Thirteen and consider how your activities support you in meeting all you basic needs?
4) Refer back to the values you identified in Week Fifteen.
a. Are there any that are being fully expressed? Take a moment to fully appreciate this. These are the ways in which you are already embodying what is vital to you.
b. Are there any that you feel are under-expressed? How could you increase activities that live this value?
c. Are there any activities that do not reflect a deeply held value? How could you decrease, delegate or remove these types of activity?
5) Taking all that you have learned, brainstorm 8 to 10 ways large and small that you can do more to energize yourself, meet your needs and live out your core values, daily, weekly, and monthly. These are your rules of the road. It is not enough to have only a few opportunities to live out your core values each month. A life that allows you to thrive is one where you are energized nurturing your needs and living out your core values daily. When this happens, you’ll see the results – higher energy, flowing creativity and greater effortlessness.
Having answered these questions, what changes will you commit to making in the way you spend your time to better align with your energy reserves, needs, and values?
This exercise makes you accountable for your allocation of time. It will bring greater awareness of the amount of time you are actually spending on things you care about. It may also illuminate additional priorities and needs that you had not previously appreciated. As a result of this information, you may wish to manage your time differently allotting more time to some areas and less to others.