As we are approaching the end of the year and getting ready for the winter holiday, there is still a number of things we can do in the next few weeks. Some of them are important and some of them can be postponed – we decide on hierarchy. However, on the top of my “end-of-the-year-to-do-list” is the “life inventory” I usually do each year in December.
I started doing this a couple of years ago after I read “The Time Paradox” by Phil Zimbardo and John Boyd. The book is about the time perspective each of us has, and how the time attitude shapes our lives and affect the decision we make.
The reason I bought and read this book was that I hoped it would give me a magic formula of how to create more time in my life, which became a marathon of reaching multiple goals. I thought it would free me from a constant pressure of meeting the deadlines and fulfilling obligations. It didn’t… but it helped me to redefine how an on what I spend my time.
Here are some highlights, takeaways, & quick wins
Even if you have a hard-working attitude, when you have eight or ten priorities in your life, you’re just basically running around spinning your wheels.
The first step to creating more time is to find out how and on what tasks exactly do you currently spend your time. I call this process “life inventory”.
- All you need for this is two pieces of paper, a pen and 90 minutes of quiet time.
- Put the name “Present” on one piece of paper and “Future” on the other
- Write down everything that keeps you busy on the “Present” – in terms of work you do and the obligations you have to fulfill.
- Write down your goals and what you want to achieve in the future.
- Compare two lists
- Get clear on what you want from life
- Eliminate the biggest drains of your time resources from the “Present” list
- Focus on what is left and start living with intention
It sounds very simple and easy but it is difficult to implement. To focus on and follow the plan requires work discipline. However, looking back I realize how transformative it was for me and how it changed everything from how about I viewed my life and how I started arranging my priorities, my schedule and what I was saying yes to and what I was saying no to.
I keep running inventories every year and highly recommend it to everyone. I find that excess stuff in our lives weighs us down, it also makes us make too many decisions. It’s like a weight on the scale of what we own in terms of possessions and the things we are busy with. The more we have the heavier we feel.
By removing excess from our life we make sure that everything that we are left with is high quality and have high value. The goals that we focus on are important and the ones that we most love and want to achieve, and there are not a lot of decisions to make.
What excess are you willing to remove from your life?