13 Jun

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. ~ Charles Richards

What a week!
So today I just wanted to reflect on the past 7 days, the lessons learned and the impact of the challenge that has enabled me to define my priorities; find more time for myself and I hope has helped you to do the same.

1. Find out where your time is really going.

Kinda like when you are trying to lose weight. It’s very easy to fool yourself and think you are doing “pretty good” when you are actually not doing really that well. Thinking that you are doing “pretty good” won’t get you the results you want. Instead, actually doing what is needed is not always fun but it’s the thing that gives you the results you want and need.
“Chunk” your day into blocks of time and be hyper-conscious of where you dedicate your attention.
I have for example found that I have spent too much time browsing random personal development posts, various blogs and Youtube videos that I justify as “work-related” but at the end of the day, I could certainly use this time more effectively and not be distracted by tangents.
The Focus Challenge has helped me minimize such “browsing” and instead substitute this “stuff” for a more balanced allocation of “me” time, that I was simply not factoring in before.

2. Realize that you don’t have to do everything you do and you don’t have to do everything yourself.

It is more than probable that the world will not end if you do/don’t do something. One thing that’s stopping people from improving themselves or just finding time for themselves is all the things they “have” to do. You don’t really have to do anything.
As Mike Dooley very poetically suggested, try to look at it as you choosing what to do instead.
Of course, if you choose to do or not to do something there will be consequences. Sometimes big, sometimes small. Sometimes bad, sometimes good. One thing I find consistently is that if I deliberately CHOOSE to take a particular course of action, based on instinct, my values, ethics and often common (or perhaps not so common) sense, even if it initially appears to turn out bad – it ALWAYS ends up revealing itself as a positive.
The point is to take control of your life and feel like you are choosing. Instead of having your world choosing and controlling your life. The universe, the source, God or whatever you wish to label it will always reward you for taking full responsibility for your decisions and actions.
This also helps define what isn’t really that important to you and what to eliminate or reduce in order to free up time for more interesting and relevant things.
3 steps to success: CTRL + ALT + DEL. Control yourself, look for an alternate solution, and delete the situation that is ineffective and not working for you.

You may also find it helpful to ask yourself questions like…
How can I minimize the time I spend on doing this?
Can I eliminate doing this thing altogether with small or no negative consequences?
Can this be delegated to someone else?
3. Show up and just do it.

When you have found out what you are actually doing with your time and let go of some of the things you “had to do” then show up and just do it.
Instead of procrastinating, instead of over-analysis, instead of hoping someone else will do it, instead of rationalizing and inventing excuses for not doing something – take initiative and establish the habit of just doing it.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back always ineffectiveness. Whatever you can do, or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now. ~ Johann Von Goethe cited in Habits Aren’t Just For Nuns

do it
4. Habits REALLY aren’t just for nuns!

I don’t subscribe to any one main stream religion, but I have respect and an awe for those who dedicate their lives to a pious, spiritual existence. The discipline and sacrifice deserves acknowledgement but don’t bother trying to get thee to a nunnery. The practice of repetition, no matter the task, is learning. It reinforces concepts and behaviours and is an essential component to the formula to success.
habits-arent-just-for-nuns-BOOK-Robyn Pulman
5. Balance

By mapping out the weeks responsibilities and engagements, it became very clear just how imbalanced my life was. Such clarity allows you to restore a sense of equilibrium by addressing the areas that would otherwise continue to be neglected.
6. Reflection

Taking the time out, which ever way you can to reflect – what works for you, what doesn’t, what you enjoy what you don’t. By understanding what is important to you and where your values lay, you can more easily realize your own potential and define your mission.
life takes on a whole new meaning. You won’t waste time watching CSI if forensic science isn’t your bag. You’ll attract the right people and situations into your reality. You’ll start your day, happier, healthier and with purpose.
The Silva Method Meditation
7. Gratitude

Ultimately, for the experience itself; for showing me where I can make improvements in my life; where my strengths lay; what’s important to me and for demonstrating that when we just make a decision and follow it through with commitment and focus, we can accomplish great things.
 Love gratitude stone heart photographed by Natalee-Jewel
Gratitude, for “freedom” in my life, for the ability to choose my path and the time to dedicate to the journey.
Gratitude, for the people in my life. My tolerant and generous family. My encouraging and supportive friends. For inspiring and enlightened mentors.
For engaging, compelling, clients, customers and community.
Thank you – Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
I hope the FOCUS CHALLENGE has helped you to find more free time for yourself to spend it as you wish; learn more about what’s important to you and to realize what you can accomplish when you make the decision and set your mind and heart to it.
Please share your experiences, epiphanies, challenges and successes. We love to hear from you.

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