The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.
My health is important, and I take care of it by exercising regularly, managing my diet, and meditating regularly.
My career is important for me. I know what I have to do to build my skills and competencies.
My relationships are what give me strength and stability. I nurture them by giving them the right amount of time.
All of us have very good intentions. We all want to do the right things. And, more importantly, we believe that we are doing all the right things that we value.
But, What Does The Calendar Show?
Have you blocked chunks of time consciously in your calendar to focus on the actions, tasks that matter for you? Or are you under the impression that scheduling is not needed? That everything will happen naturally, on its own.
In the present times, with all the distractions galore, you can’t leave your daily existence to chance. You need to set aside time both for the important and mundane, consciously.
You want to meditate daily. Schedule a time every day. You want to track your investments, intentionally schedule the time to do that activity. Unless you schedule something, it will not get done.
Over the last week, I did a small experiment. I asked a cross-section of people I know to show me their calendars. Except for a couple of folks, everyone else had their office work-related agendas chunked out clearly. Some also had their personal to-do items scheduled.
However, there was nothing on the calendar concerning personal values like well-being, relationships, and goals. When I asked them why the wry response was either “I didn’t think of it this way” or “I don’t sit and plan what I should do in my non-worktime.”
Having a calendar to track only work-related matters leads to two issues.
The coherence between our calendars and our values is where a life of integrity begins. If how we spend our time does not align with our true values, we will sooner than later start experiencing dissonance. We will start feeling as if something is amiss.
Remember, as Richard Feynman says, you are the easiest person to fool. Look at your calendar and ask yourself “am I giving the right time and focus to all of my core values?” Your calendar will tell you the truth about what you value.