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Four Questions To Ask Yourself If You Want To Be Less Busy

You're reading this article because you're tired of the grind. The title instantly reminded you of that constant feeling of running behind schedule. Maybe you're late to everything, or it feels like you are. You've been missing deadlines and making excuses for rescheduling or missing meetings. Maybe you are not doing the work you dreamed of doing.

That's definitely not the best way to live your life. Being busy wreaks havoc on your vision, creativity, effectiveness, health and emotional composure, among other things. The ingredients for happiness go stale quickly in an "I'm too busy" lifestyle.

Some of the richest people on the planet advise that everything should be on your calendar. By blocking out time for every task, it forces you to spend your time more wisely. The problem with that formula is that everyone is different. We need to create our own mechanisms that make the most sense for us as unique individuals.

Answer these four simple questions, and you'll have a solution to the frantic frenzy. This sequence provides you with a quick realization of what's important, what priorities should come first and why.

"How does my personal story guide my goals in life?"

Expert writers Nancy Dodd, a professional editor and author of The Writer's Compass, and Amy Blaschka, author of I Am: Escape Distractions, Unlock Your Imagination & Unleash Your Potential, have closely studied the connection between storytelling and business. In analyzing this link, they uncovered how the act of articulating your story requires deep introspection that can guide your values, goals and vision. Nancy also believes that authenticity is the most important piece because being true to yourself is where the extraordinary beauty resides.

Basically, you must tell your story to change your life. The simple act of writing down your story and goals has been proven to raise your chances of success as you've defined it.

"Do I spend my time in a way that matches my actual priorities?"

By aligning your values to your goals, you can make sure you are spending your time wisely. Here is what that means.

Grade your values in terms of importance by assigning them percentages.

I value love, responsibility, education and culture — in that order. My time should be spent in accordance with those values, and each value has goals assigned to it. Here’s an example:

• Love and family: 35% or approximately 8.5 hours per day

• Responsibility and work: 30% or approximately 7 hours per day

• Education, learning, reading: 8% or approximately 2 hours per day

• Culture and travel: 5% or around 2.5 weeks per year

The rest of your day is sleep, eating, exercising, etc.

"What do I want people to say about me at my funeral?"

To answer this, think of how happy you are today and what you should change to live the full life you picture. This step will provide you with an opportunity to add some goals to those values. Here’s an example:

• Love: Spend more time with family and friends.

• Responsibility: Take control of my career by doing what I love every day.

• Education: Read one book per week.

• Culture: Visit two new countries per year.

"What can I do now that would make me 5-10% more efficient with my time?"

These become your mechanisms for achieving your goals and dreams. Deploy time management techniques that work for you. Say no to things that push your time into the wrong spaces. Consider deleting certain apps from your phone and journaling where your minutes are going. Remove distractions and noise from your calendar. Just search Google for time management techniques, and pick out a couple that you feel most aligned with.

If you measure your success in life by the answers to these four questions, you are doing quite well already. To become less busy, you must critique what's important to you, what your priorities are and why.

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