Tomorrow is the end of our series on creating a mindset for a
successful school year. You can read them all, starting here!
Tip of the Day #8
Invest time in what matters most.
Yeah, that’s right. I’m talking to you. School starts tomorrow, and we need to have a little chat.
The two of us, we have a lot in common. I know how you think. I know that you are a very busy person. You complain about it sometimes, but you actually enjoy being involved in many things. You like to help people. You like to be connected. You like to make a difference. You like to work hard. When someone asks you to do something, you just do it, usually because you want to, but also because you have a hard time saying no.
You hear yourself say things like, “I’m sorry I didn’t (fill in the blank), but last week was just crazy!” You realize that you could say that every single week.
You also realize that you apologize a lot, but you aren’t always sure why. Should you really be sorry that it is humanly impossible to do everything?
The start of the school year is a new beginning. Maybe it is time to reexamine how you spend your days. How you spend your hours. How you spend your minutes. Maybe it is time to budget minutes just like you budget dollars, to reserve some just for fun and to at least know where the other ones are going.
Which things on your schedule are directly connected to what matters to you most?
Which things are nurturing your most important relationships?
Which things in your life are making the most positive difference for others?
Which things are helping you to experience personal growth, physically, mentally, or spiritually?
Which things are teaching your kids, directly or indirectly, the lessons that you want to instill while they are young?
Which things require a personal investment that is not worth the benefits, to you or to others?
Which things surprise you by the amount of time that you actually spend on them?
Which things could you manage differently or share with others in order to be more time efficient?
What important things are not even on your schedule?
What unimportant things can go?
Does the way that you spend your time truly reflect the priorities that you think you embrace? I mean, if a priority is something that you regard as most important, then shouldn’t your priorities take up most of your time?
So, You. Yes, I’m talking to you again, the lady looking back from the mirror. Some things need to change around here. Some things on that list need to go. They are good things – they really are – but they aren’t the best things for you right now. And some other areas of your life need room to grow.
Your kids are happy when you spend time with them. They will be spending a lot of time at school soon, but they are excited whenever you step into that place. They like to see that their most important people – their family and their teachers – are a team. They like to see that their most important places – their home and their school – are connected. They like it when you go on a field trip or help with an event or volunteer for an afternoon. An afternoon. You do not have to sign your life away to make a difference. Spend a little time at school.
Take the time to enjoy the activities your kids are doing. Don’t just watch. ENJOY. Without thinking about the other things you need to do at work and home. Soak it up. Don’t just “spend time.” BE PRESENT.
The truth is that you are busy, and you will probably always be busy, because life is busy, and you like it that way. It makes you feel like you aren’t wasting time. But when you are too busy, you might be wasting time all over the place by committing to the things that aren’t most important. It’s time to reassess. That time before work and after, don’t let it just slip away. Remember that being in the house together is not the same as investing time in your relationships. Think about how you could use the first and last ten minutes of the day to somehow acknowledge the things that matter most.
You have some work to do, Friend. But I’ll be here for you, in the looking glass, every morning.
You know where to find me.
Tomorrow is the last day in our back to school series!
Join me as I send my own kids back to school!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/95380107@N05/9197295814″>Despertador</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>