How to choose between two good ways to spend your time.

The world is full of good things. At any given time there are hundreds, if not thousands of worthwhile activities for you to partake in. In fact, life is a giant a la carte menu of enjoyable ways to spend your time. So, how do we choose, if we are not choosey moms? Because everyone knows what choosey mom’s choose. #ExtraCrunchy

Priorities

The key to determining how to spend your time is establishing your priorities. Your priorities serve as a tiebreaker between two good ways to spend your time and energy. When you are forced to choose, always invest in the activity that aligns with your priorities.

(If you are pressed for time, you can stop reading this post here. Because you have already discovered the main point of this post. Everything that comes after this is simply time away from your priorities. But if you are like Richard Gere in An Officer And A Gentleman, and have nowhere else to go, by all means, please keep reading.)

Morning Time

Every morning I have to decide between sleeping longer, and getting up and jumping into my pre-determined activities. I always choose to get up and get going. Because I schedule my most important activities to start just 10 minutes after my alarm detonates. By important, I mean my self-improvement activities. I always start my day with exercise, reading, or writing. Because those activities align with my priorities. Even when my bed is very comfortable.

If I get one or more of my self-improvement activities in before breakfast, even if my breakfast gives me food poisoning, I will have made progress that day. (Ok, now I’m a little apprehensive about eating breakfast…)

Declaring Your Priorities

If you don’t have your priorities determined, do that now, before you do anything else. Because they will help you determine everything else.

This post is not intended to teach you how to choose your priorities. But since we’re here, here’s the simplified process:

  • Think about the end of your life.
  • When your completed life story is told, what’s the story morning glory?
  • What did you do?
  • What impressive accomplishments will you be remembered for?
  • Whatever you come up with, those are your priorities.
  • To determine the priority of all priorities, narrow your accomplishments down to just one in an Ultimate Accomplishment Royal Rumble.  The last accomplishment standing is your Ultimate Priority.
  • Your Ultimate Priority should drive all time management decisions for the rest of your life.

Key Takeaway

Time is your most valuable and scarcest resource. To determine how and where to spend it, know your priorities. And invest as much time and energy into your priorities as possible. Even when the alternative is attractive. Because life is like the Playboy Mansion, and there will always be attractive alternatives. But the more time you spend with the attractive alternatives, and not your priorities, the less likely the story at the end of your days will be the story you wish was written.

If you liked this post and want to read more like this, I recommend reading this post on the book The One Thing.

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Published by

Adam Albrecht

Adam Albrecht is the Founder and CEO of the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry. He believes the most powerful weapon on Earth is the human mind. He also authors two blogs: the Adam Albrecht Blog and Dad Says Daughter Says, a Daddy-Daughter blog he co-writes with his 14-year old daughter Ava. Adam can be reached at adam@theweaponry.com.

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