As I was reading an article recently regarding finding balance in life, the realization came to me that as our work lives get busier there is also a need to find balance within our jobs. I often hear the complaint that there just isn’t enough time in the day to get all of the items checked off the “to-do” list at work. We are running faster and harder, but the list never seems to be finished and sometimes the important tasks remain incomplete day after day. Frankly, it’s exhausting.
The good news is… it doesn’t have to be that way. If you can shift your focus to aligning your actions with your goals, you will accomplish more and find greater satisfaction. Although I’m specifically talking about balancing work, the two points below work equally well when applied to the larger canvass of your life.
- Having goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) is important, but those goals also need to be prioritized. Not all goals carry equal weight or can be achieved simultaneously. Some may require prerequisites, some may be dependent upon others, and sometimes our priorities shift with time or new demands. But regardless, there should always be a clear cut prioritization in the forefront of your mind.
- Our daily actions need to align with those priorities. There is never enough time in our day to do everything we want, however there is always time in our day to do the most important. If you find yourself never achieving the “important” items on your list, ask yourself why the other items you did work on were more important. Was the choice to do them made because it was easier, more fun, or less intimidating? Or worse, was it an unconscious decision – because you didn’t actively align your actions with your goals?
Being clear on what is most important to you provides a compass to guide your daily choices, what you commit to and how you allocate your time. Each day ask yourself: Is what I’m committing to in line with what I am committed to?