Run Your Life …
Instead of Letting Your Life Run You

Perhaps the greatest single problem people have today is “time poverty.” Working people have too much to do and too little time for their personal lives. Most people feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and activities … and the harder they work, the further behind they feel.

This sense of being on a never-ending treadmill can cause you to fall into the reactive/responsive mode of living. Instead of clearly deciding what you want to do, you continually react to what is happening around you. Pretty soon you lose all sense of control.

Here’s my solution to the problem:

On a regular basis, I stand back and take stock of what I’m doing. I evaluate my activities in light of what is really important to me.

I recommend you try this simple exercise. It doesn’t take long … and it will help you master your time rather than becoming a slave to the constant flow of events and demands we all face daily.

The Secret to Achieving Balance, Harmony, and Inner Peace

I used to think time management was only a business tool, like a calculator or a cellular telephone. It was something you used so you could get more done in a shorter period of time and eventually be paid more money. Then I learned that time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It’s the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.

In your work or business life, there are so many demands on your time from other people that very little of your time is yours to use as you choose. However, at home and in your personal life you can exert a tremendous amount of control over how you use your time. And it is in this area that I want to focus.

Personal time management begins with you. It begins with your thinking through what is really important to you in life. And it only makes sense if you organize it around specific things you want to accomplish. It’s important to set goals in three major areas of your life …

1. Family and Personal Goals

These are the reasons why you get up in the morning, why you work hard and upgrade your skills, why you worry about money and sometimes feel frustrated by the demands on your time.

What are your personal and family goals, both tangible and intangible? A tangible family goal could be a bigger house, a better car, a larger television set, a vacation, or anything else that costs money. An intangible goal would be to build a higher quality relationship with your spouse and children, to spend more time with your family going for walks or reading books. Achieving these family and personal goals are the real essence of time management, and its major purpose.

2. Business and Career Goals

These are the “how” goals … the means by which you achieve your personal, “why” goals. How can you achieve the level of income that will enable you to fulfill your family goals? How can you develop the skills and abilities to stay ahead of the curve in your career? Business and career goals are absolutely essential, especially when balanced with family and personal goals.

3. Personal Development Goals

Remember, you can’t achieve much more on the outside than what you have achieved on the inside. Your outer life will be a reflection of your inner life. If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and your career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development. You must build yourself if you want to build your life.

Perhaps the greatest secret of success is that you can become anything you really want to become to achieve any goal you really want to achieve. But in order to do it, you must go to work on yourself and never stop.

Keeping Your Life in Balance

Once you have a list of your personal and family goals, your business and career goals, and your self-development goals, you can then organize the list by priority. You must decide on the most important things you could possibly be doing to give yourself the same amount of happiness, satisfaction, and joy in life.

There are three key questions you can ask yourself continually to keep your personal life in balance …

“What is really important to me?” Whenever you find yourself with too much to do and too little time, stop and ask yourself, “What is it that is really important for me to do in this situation?” Then, make sure that what you’re doing is the answer to that question.

“What are my highest value activities?” In your personal life, this means, “What are the things I do that give me the greatest pleasure and satisfaction? Of all the things I could be doing at any one time, what are the things I could do to add the greatest value to my life?”

“What is the most valuable use of my time right now?” Since you can only do one thing at a time, you must constantly organize your life so that you’re doing one thing, the most important thing, at every moment.

Personal time management enables you to choose what to do first, what to do second, and what not to do at all. It enables you to organize every aspect of your life so you can get the greatest joy, happiness, and satisfaction out of everything you do.

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Published: September 9, 2008

3 Responses to “Run Your Life … Instead of Letting Your Life Run You”

  1. Real insightful and helpful, what I'd expect from the Master of Personal Achievement.

    Jerry Bures

  2. Our outer life is a reflection of our inner life. Such a simple concept. So why is it so hard to live by? People love to complicate things! Ridiculous fact of human nature.
    This article puts this into perspective in an effective way. So true. Focus on what is really important, dump the distractions that don't matter or lead any where and take time to breath/smell the coffee/ chase a squirrel up a tree...
    It really is quite simple.

    Joanne Lefferson

  3. Extremely good advice.We all have only 24 hours in our life and in that we have to find time to sleep,earn a living,eat,rest and stay positive and healthy.So many demands other things and people make on us we have very little for the most important person ourselves and our bodies.If you want to get ahead in life you must set your priorities right.


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