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You Make Time for What (and Who) Matters

I’ve always been a big proponent that you make time for the things and people that matter. Sounds simple, right? Then, why do so many not implement this better in their lives? Let me take a moment to recognize this more explicitly.

I touched on Laura Vanderkam’s TED Talk “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time” in last week’s post. In it, she shares a story of a woman who had a leak in her home. Coordinating with plumbers, and getting everything resolved, the woman estimated that it probably took seven hours of attention. That’s seven hours of “stuff” the woman hadn’t planned on doing. If you were to ask her (or most anyone) to find seven hours in the week before, she’d have told you, “heck, no, I don’t have seven hours. I’m busy!”

I was thinking of Laura’s talk in conjunction with Jacob Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life. Specifically, I’m aligning “making time” with Christensen’s Resources-Processes-Priorities framework. We make (process) time (resources) for the things that matter (priorities). From Christensen:
“Resources are what he uses to do it, processes are how he does it, and priorities are why he does it.”

I wrapped up 100 Strangers, 100 Days last week. Wow, that took a little more time than I thought. Meeting a Stranger was about 1.5 hours all in including:
  • 10-15 minutes “interviewing” 
  • + 15 minutes post-meet (many Strangers wanted to talk more and ask questions about the journey) 
  • + 60 minutes to transcribe our meet + social media updates (and formatting). 
It’s a lot, and I did that every day for 100 Days on top of the large workload I already do as the Head of Sales and Marketing at an early-stage startup. However, I managed to do it by setting each meet as a high priority of my day. I cut back on the lower priority items. Meanwhile, I also focused energy on the other facets of my life important to me – family, friends, working out, etc. Read: I was much more deliberate in my actions and the time I spent (and with whom).

Once you cut out the noise and the things that distract you, it’s amazing how much time you’ll find. Or rather, it’s amazing the quality of your life improves when you make time for the people and things that matter. 

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