Every day, you vote on the kind of person you want to be.
There are two ways you can vote:
- With your calendar.
- With your wallet.
Your calendar + wallet = your priorities.
When you claim to be “too busy”, it’s often because your voting is out of synch with who you want to be. There is a gap between your actions and your desired identity. You want to spend time meditating on the couch… but instead you check your Instagram.
Taking control of your schedule isn’t easy, but it’s doable.
First, you must carve out the most important activities in your calendar. For example, my workout days are Monday 7pm-8pm and Thursdays 8am-9am. I build my life around that, because exercise is one of those important building blocks I can’t ignore. (When I do, it gets back to bite me.)
I’ve voted on “I’m the kind of person who works out regularly” now for months, thus reinforcing this positive identity for myself.
To become “a more mindful person”, I sit on the couch 10 minutes every morning. If I oversleep, I have a fallback plan: I do a 1-minute breathing exercise, which I can do anywhere.
Every single day, I vote with my meditation practice. As a simple rule of thumb: I never skip two days in a row. The same goes for my gratitude journaling practice.
Principle: When you carve out time for the important, you make less room for the busy and unimportant.
To see the principle in action, watch this video about a successful business woman, who is struggling to juggle a full-blown career, family, and friends. The main lesson here is to put the big rocks in first.
Your wallet shows yet another set of priorities, another behaviour. Look at your expenses from the last 3 months, and ask yourself: Does this expense:
- save me time?
- solve a problem I can’t or won’t solve on my own?
- bring me joy?
Trace your calendar and wallet to reveal your true priorities. If you’re too busy, then look over your voting.
In our day-to-day life, passive voting often becomes our default option. We scroll through social media feeds or watch YouTube videos, Netflix or mindlessly surf the web.
When you’re feeling “too busy”, start voting actively again.
Vote differently. Vote intentionally. Vote for who you want to be today.
And tomorrow. And the day after that.