The one reason you don’t have time

In this post I tell you the one reason you don’t have time to do the important things, and give you a tip for how you can begin doing more of the important things.

In my last post I talked about figuring out why you’re here. If you missed that post, or still don’t have the answer, then this post will not help you. Please go back and read that post, or watch the accompanying video.

We all have access to 24 hours a day. Whether you’re a poor single mother or a millionaire banker we all have access to the same amount of time. What differs is what we choose to allocate that fixed amount of time to. If we choose to allocate our time to tasks that are trivial, that serve only to please others or are generally unproductive then that leaves us with less time to allocate to the tasks that are actually important to us.

The reason you currently “don’t have time” is that you’re simply prioritising the wrong things.

According to 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey there are four types of task:

Important, but not urgent

These are the tasks you want to spend most of your time on. You need to allocate time to the important tasks – according to your purpose – that are not urgent. These will be maintenance tasks relating to your body (diet and exercise), skill set, relationships and equipment. This will also be taking action on your goals.

Important and urgent

This is also known as a crisis. You’ll need to deal with these immediately. You can avoid getting into this situation in the first place by dealing with important tasks ahead of time like I described earlier.

Urgent, but not important

Urgency is not the same as importance. Some tasks need to be done, but not necessarily by you. Delegate urgent, but unimportant, tasks wherever possible (e.g. to junior colleagues, to relatives)

Not urgent and not important

Don’t bother completing these tasks. They’re a waste of time.

Tip – plan your time.

Use a diary or Outlook calendar to set aside time in the week or month ahead to your important, but not urgent, tasks. I’m going to talk a lot about planning in my upcoming posts, so stay tuned.

Once you prioritise your time towards the right things you get the things that are truly important to you done.

Watch my video on this very topic.

So – do you now have time? Let me know in the comments below.

If you found this post helpful then like, share and subscribe.

In my next post I’ll be answering the question “does size matter?” Get your mind out of the gutter and stay tuned for that.

You can follow me on Twitter (@Andrew__SVN), subscribe to my YouTube channel (Andrew SVN) and like my Facebook page (@AndrewSVN.1).

Until next time, make it happen.

Andrew SVN

Why Are You Here? 2 Tips For Establishing Your Purpose

In my last post I talked about how to take responsibility for your life. If you missed it then go back and read it, or watch the video below. This post will not help you until you’re happy to take ownership of your own lived experience.

A guy I recently shadowed at work asked me “why are you here?” I scrambled round for an answer, but it was clear to both of us that I wasn’t really there out of my own choice (it was a prescribed part of my annual performance objectives). I was doing it because someone else wanted me to.

It’s the best question I’ve been asked in years – perhaps even my whole life – because it crystallises the importance of only doing things that link directly to your own purpose and values. Once you start doing things just to please other people that’s when you begin to feel lost.

You need to be clear about your own purpose in life. The following exercises are from the book 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Exercise 1 – visualise your own funeral.

Think about how you want to be remembered as a worker, friend, lover, parent or relative. Stephen Covey calls it “beginning with the end in mind”

I want to be remembered for having improved people’s lives. I want to be remembered for being a positive role model, an inspiration. I want to be remembered for my devotion and commitment to my work and the people around me. That’s why I’ve set up this website and my YouTube channel.

Exercise 2 – write out a personal mission statement.

This is a summary of your core values, and how you want to pursue them. It forms the foundations upon which you can build your life. You no longer need to be dragged from pillar to post by the things that happen to you in your life. You can be anchored by your personal mission statement.

My personal mission statement is as follows:

  1. Proactively nurture relationships with friends, family and colleagues
  2. Think 10 years ahead and act accordingly
  3. Get the best from others
  4. Be open about my thoughts, feelings and pursuits
  5. Focus my internal dialogue on what will move me forward

These are all challenging rules for me to live by, but I know that they will help me progress in my life.

Take your time with establishing your life purpose. There’s no rush.

Watch my video on the two exercises for figuring out your own life purpose.

So – why are you here? Let me know in the comments below.

If you found this post helpful then like, share and subscribe.

In my next post I’ll be talking about the age old excuse for not doing the things you know you should be doing – “I don’t have time.” So keep an eye out for that.

You can follow me on Twitter (@Andrew__SVN), subscribe to my YouTube channel (Andrew SVN) and like my Facebook page (@AndrewSVN.1).

Until next time, make it happen.

Andrew SVN

How Do I Take Responsibility For My Life?

Caveat

Before reading this post please read my previous post about whether you actually want to change your life. Or watch its accompanying video below. If you don’t actually want to do the hard work of improving yourself then this post will not help you.

Full disclosure

This post is my own interpretation of the habit of being proactive, which is discussed in the book 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  I highly recommend this book – I’m working through it second time around and it’s really helping me improve my own life (among other things). I do not receive any commission from any sales of this book – I’m simply a fan of it.

Taking responsibility

Life is a series of choices. In any given moment we can choose our own response that best serves us. We don’t have to be a product of the negative things that happened to us.

How empowering is that!

I grew up very shy. That doesn’t mean I have to be shy now. I’ve been relatively skinny since I was a teenager. That doesn’t mean I can’t be big and muscular now.

We don’t have to ignore or deny the limiting things that happened to us in the past or are happening to us now. We can fully accept them as environmental conditions, but we can pursue whatever suits us best despite those things.

Think of it like the weather. Would you not go to school or work just because it’s raining outside? Of course not – you’d accept that the weather is a bit miserable, but you’d go anyway because that’s what serves you best.

So the first steps in self-improvement are as follows:

  1. Accept the past and current conditions of your life.
  2. Choose the actions, thoughts and behaviours that best serve your goals.

You have to take these steps before you can progress any further, so take your time with them. Once you take these steps a whole world of possibility opens up for you.

Watch my YouTube video on how to take responsibility for your life.

So – how are you going to take responsibility for your life? Let me know in the comments below.

In my next post I’ll be asking you the question “Why are you here?” The answer isn’t as obvious as you think, so stay tuned.

If you found this post helpful then like, share and subscribe.

You can follow me on Twitter (@Andrew__SVN), subscribe to my YouTube channel (Andrew SVN) and like my Facebook page (@AndrewSVN.1).

Until next time – make it happen.

Andrew SVN

Do You Actually Want A Better Life?

Do you really want a better life?

Do you genuinely want a better life?

For many of you the answer is yes. But for a lot of you the answer is no. And that’s fine. Let’s look at the two reasons you might not, right now, actually want a better life.

You’re doing self-improvement at a time of crisis

You’re looking for a quick fix. You’re not mentally prepared to take the difficult long-term actions needed to create a better life.

You’re doing self-improvement because someone else told you to

You’ve been told by relatives, partners or therapists to improve your life. You’re not really doing it for yourself. Your motivation isn’t coming from within.

When I first engaged with self-improvement four years ago I wasn’t prepared to do it for the long-haul. I was in crisis and wanted a quick fix. It’s only in the last two years that my commitment has become more consistent. It’s only in the last six months that I realised how much time you have to devote to self-improvement to see lasting positive change.

Ask yourself two questions:

  • Are you willing to consistently take actions outside your comfort zone day in and day out?
  • Are you willing to dedicate yourself to self-improvement for years (not weeks or months)?

If you’re not ready to commit yourself to changing your life then that’s fine. You can learn bits and pieces to help you with immediate issues (e.g. breathing techniques to relieve anxiety). But accept that those isolated techniques will not drastically change your life for the better. Come back when you realise that there’s no alternative to the long-term approach.  As long as you think there’s a quick fix out there for you there’s no way you’ll commit to making the long-term changes that you need to make.

Watch my YouTube video on this topic.

So – do you actually want a better life? Let me know in the comments section below. If you found this post helpful then like it and share it with the people in your life.

You can follow me on Twitter (@Andrew__SVN), subscribe to my YouTube channel (Andrew SVN) and like my Facebook page (@AndrewSVN.1).

Until next time – make it happen.

Andrew SVN