We all need clarity and healthy boundaries to structure our lives and focus on what is most important. Boundaries keep us from straying from our priorities so we can yes without resentment and no without regret.
We live in a very busy world. I, like many people I know, always want to maximize my time and my experiences. I want to live a full life, so I don't have any time to waste.
Unfortunately, I catch myself complicating this process frequently.
I often try to add way too many things into my day in an attempt to enhance my experience and elevate my mood, but the result is the opposite: I don’t enjoy the experiences and get cranky along the way.
Simplicity is the key for me. If I don’t work on slowing down and making very conscious and well-thought-through decisions, I end up running around lost in my own chaos.
I have to restrict myself from over-commitment and be very disciplined about the way that I start my day. If I don’t start my morning in a mindful way by slowly easing into the day, meditating, and exercising, I end up in a frenzy very quickly. FOMO gets the best of me. I have excitement ADD and find myself tired and overextended way too often.
This commitment to simplicity includes communicating clearly with people around me regarding what I need, what my boundaries are, and the time commitments I can make. I base these decisions on my values. I try not to act out of a false sense of obligation, so everything I do aligns with who I am, where I want to go, what and with whom I want to experience.
I want to have time for the people I love. I want to have time for the things that matter to me. I want to be engaged and involved in projects and opportunities that make an impact in this world. I want to be a game changer, and for that I need space to create and be present.
When I stick to my gut instincts and communicate my boundaries in an appropriate way, I create space for myself. I am no longer at the mercy of the world, constantly overwhelmed and running out of time.
Here are three simple questions I ask myself to stay on track:
I try focus on one thing a week that moves me forward and one thing a day that I want to accomplish. I consistently prioritize, de-prioritize and shift things on my calendar based on opportunities that may arise spontaneously so that I can keep and create conscious space for what matters.
Yes, I actually color-code my calendar, so my priorities are very clear to me at any given time.
And, interestingly enough, none of this happens if I don’t ground myself in the morning. It’s a remarkable trend I have observed.
On the days that I wake up, I ground myself with meditation. When I start my day with gratitude, clarity, and inspiration to evaluate the day that lies ahead, I stay on track throughout the day. On days I rush out of bed, I end up exhausted and overcommitted very quickly.
So I’ve learned to trust this process.
At the end of the day, I check in with myself to see if I'm actually acting on what I set out to do. I determine if, where, when, how, and most importantly why I got distracted, and I make a plan for the next day.
I am consistently and constantly checking in with myself throughout the day. I determine whether my actions are still in line with who I want to be, how I want to show up, and what I want to experience so I can be at maximum efficiency to myself and the people around me.
Try it. 😉 You might surprise yourself.