Over the last 3 years I have completely (well, not completely, but a pretty major overhaul) changed my life. I have been digging deep and uprooting old ways of being. I have been gradually changing the way I work, changing the overall feel of my life and what it looks like day to day.
I was reading a book about simplifying ones life (& work) last month by Ev Bogue. The book was Minimalist Business, and it had a good proposal in it. The proposal was; 9 Ways to Focus on the Important. Earlier in the book Ev Bogue quoted Leo Babauta and talked about designing your life completely around what you love.
“Focus on what you love, and nothing else.” – Leo Bauta
I made a list of what I love to do, and a list of my top priorities after reading that book. I feel very happy about getting clarity on what makes me happy, what lights me up, and what I am really devoted to. Of course there is so much more to that story. But the few Loves & Priorities that I focused on are just pointers. They are there to keep my life (and my time) pointed in the right direction.
My four priorities are: blogging, exercising, meditating, & studying
My four loves are: creating, dancing, being, & reading
(And a few more Loves are: raw & wild foods, learning french, helping others, being outdoors.)
If you notice, the Priorities are very similar to the Loves. This is ideal! And if I get even more clear, my Priorities/Loves are more like this: Sharing (blogging/creating), Moving (exercising/dancing), Being (meditating/presence), and Seeing (studying/reading)
(Seeing, as in; seeing the unseen or seeing the bigger picture.)
Having this target list makes it so easy to have an ideal day or an ideal year. All I have to do is base all if my decisions around my top loves or top priorities. It makes choosing how to spend my time quite simple & effortless. If what I have as a option (a request or invitation) doesn’t align with what I love, then it’s a definite “No” for me. I pass on it and choose something that speaks to what I am about, what I truly enjoy most.
The whole idea of this takes practice. I still have old responsibilities in my life that need some weeding, pruning and removing. These are past choices that I am still responsible for, so they are still an active part of my life. But having the target (as well as the list I will share below) is wonderful way to slowly transition yourself and your life. (It’s helping me tremendously!) If you put your Love & Priorities in practice, you will gradually become a more authentic you. Every aspect of your life will become what you truly wanted to create for yourself. This is a life created with awareness and the power of choice. It’s really easy to fall into what you should do, or to keep building on top of decisions you made in the past (when you where someone else, a you from 10 or 15 years ago!) But now we can build and create from an empowered place. We can be an aware and responsible us, a this moment us, an I know who I am and what I want, and I am living it, us!
9 Ways You Can Focus On The Important:
1. IDENTIFY THE FOUR AREAS OF YOUR LIFE THAT ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU.
It can be powerful to know what is most important to you, because then you can begin to focus on only the essential.
2. LEARN TO SAY NO TO REQUESTS.
Once you’ve identified the essential, you have to start saying no to things that come your way which don’t coincide with your interests.
3. START TO ELIMINATE THINGS YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT.
Stop doing things you’re doing just out of obligation. Abandon the busy work.
4. GIVE YOURSELF HUGE BLOCKS OF TIME TO WORK ON ONE PROJECT.
Give yourself five hours to work on one project, and do nothing else.
5. TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS.
Turn off your phone, power down social networks, destroy your TV, and eat your lunch before you sit down to focus on the important.
6. DON’T COMMENT ON THINGS THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN.
The next time you’re tempted to tell someone that what they’re doing is wrong, maybe consider first: are you willing to help them do it right?
7. MAKE TIME FOR IMPORTANT THINGS.
If you want to be good at something, you have to do it every single day for at least a few hours (if not more).
8. TELL PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR PRIORITIES.
By telling people, you can hold yourself responsible. Live and breathe your priorities, and they will become what you are and what you do best.
9. LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
You have to study the subject of your priorities regularly. I promise you, it is the most important element.
And here are a few more notes from that chapter…
Focus Your Use of Time on the Important MANIFESTO:
• I will value my time to the highest potential.
• I will not engage in activities that do not contribute value to my life.
• I will focus my attention on creating great work that changes the world.
Focus on what you love, and nothing else. This often means restructuring things so that you can eliminate most of your emails, calls, meetings, paperwork, financial work, and so on. That takes some careful thought, some planning, and groundwork.
One of the easiest ways to avoid finishing is to complicate the process so much that you can never finish. If you’re writing an e-book, give it a title and start writing it. If you’re recording a podcast, turn on the recorder and start talking. Set a date to publish, and don’t miss that date.
What are your top four loves in life? What are your top priorities everyday?
For everyone it’s different. That’s what makes life so rich. It is most beautiful and most interesting when everyone feels empowered to be their most authentic self. When everyone feels content because they are living a life they love.