Do you continually get the things done that you want to get done or do you feel like you're always operating out of what other people want you to do?
Hi, this is Grant Herbert, International Influencer and Sustainable Performance Coach, and today, I want to have a conversation with you around your priorities.
So, last week we kicked off this conversation by talking about the fact that there's no such thing as time management. We're not able to manage time, there's 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. And that's not up to me or to you to change. What we can change though are three key elements and that is our priority management, our environment management, and our energy management. So this week, I want to go a little bit deeper and talk about priority management.
So if I was to drop in right now and have a conversation with you and look at your calendar, would I have a clear picture and understanding of what your priorities are? A number of weeks ago when we were talking about setting boundaries around our priorities and what was most important to us and what our values were, we looked at the fact that what we invest our time in as well as our money and other things is a clear indicator of what's really important to us. And the reason why in productivity we need to get this priority thing right is that when we are working outside our priorities, not only aren't we going to be getting enough done, we're going to feel like an impostor. We're going to feel inauthentic, incongruent because we're not actually giving focus to those things that we say and we truly believe are most important to us.
So, what I want to do is just give you a few tips, a few hacks, a few things that I've learned to do from great mentors over the years that I've implemented in my own life to help me to get back and stay on track.
One of the things that I love to do is in my calendar, by the way, I now live by a calendar. If you don't, then it'd be a great place to start, a place to actually do a time and space exercise and work out where you are investing your time. A lot of people say, "I don't have enough time." Yes you do. It's just getting on top of and being in control of, being the orchestrator of where we use that time. In my calendar, one of the things that I've learned to do, and I love to do is to colour code. So if you will look in my calendar right now, you would see that there will be various colours in there. And those colours are royal blue. Anything to do with my family there. They're a green. Anything to do with my health and vitality. They're a blue, the same as my logo. If it's to do with what I'm doing right now, working in my Grant Herbert business. Orange, if I'm working in my People Builders company, because that's the corporate colour for People Builders. There's a particular shade of dark gray, that's anything to do with travel, anything to do with personal development. And then there's a shade of red, which is to do with the administrative tasks that I need to do, et cetera.
Why is this important? See, when I look at my calendar, I have a clear visual represent representation of whether or not I'm working in my values, in my priorities. Those ones that are true to me. So as an example, I do a lot of travel. So if I were to look at my calendar in a week, when I'm traveling overseas, then obviously there's not going to be as much of the royal blue because I'm not there. So, what I can then do is I can make sure that when I am home that I counter that by having more blue. So, it's a visual representation where I can look at it and go, "Grant, you need to change." Or, "Hey, things are on track." If it's in terms of my business, if there's no orange or blue in there, it means I'm not actually doing anything that's going to bring in work and bring in income in our business.If there's not enough green, then I'm going to fall off the perch and I'm not going to be able to do that stuff.
Colour coding and blocking out particular time in your calendar for your priorities is number one. And it's really helped me.
So, how do we do that? So the first thing, if we step right back to weeks and weeks ago, we have to know what our priorities are. Once we know what our priorities are, we need to commit to them. We need to go through the exercise of saying, "When I say yes to this, I'm saying no to that. And when I say no to that, I'm saying yes to this, which is my priorities." And if that's not familiar to you, you go back and have a look at that episode and that will help you. So, here's where the priorities come in with the calendar. So, the first thing that goes in my calendar every year, every month, every week, are the green, health and vitality and "me time" blocks because I understand that I need to be my number one priority so that I can serve all the other priorities in my life.
Next, I'd put in the royal blue, so every day in my calendar it starts with a block of green time followed by a block of blue time. Now when I'm home, that's having breakfast and quality time at the breakfast table with my wife and my kids. When I'm away, it's depending on the time zone, it's a Facebook live or it's an interaction over text or whatever it is that we have to use at that time. In the middle of my day, there's always a green section that says to have some lunch so that I replenish my energy ready for the afternoon and then same time every day, I have some "me time" at the end of the day so that I can reflect, I can refocus, I can recharge and there's also some more family time as well. So, I put all that in there first and then that tells me that my number one priority, that is me and my family, are covered.
When my health and my vitality and my interaction with the people - those who are most important to me - is covered and that then tells me that I have space available or bandwidth available to do and be with all the other people that I need to be in my life. And then I put those in there and as we get to the end of this topic in a few weeks time, I'll give you some more around how you can actually do that and you can chunk in time and you can create in your mind a sense that you have more time than you really think you do. Instead of feeling overwhelmed all the time and, "I don't have enough time, I can't get it all done."
So, that's the first thing is priority management. Now, that’s the first part of the equation. The second part of the equation is to be able to stick to that and be able to go when someone says, "Hey, I want to fill this time", you can say, "Sorry, that's already taken by my family" or whatever it is.
Obviously you don't need to tell people that, but sticking to your priorities is vitally important. I remember years ago, there used to be an ad on television and it was for lamb and here in Australia, I remember my childhood, we used to have a lamb roast every Sunday and it was fantastic. So, this young lady, on this television ad, got a phone call from a radio station and she was told that she had won dinner with none other than Tom Cruise -And back then, Tom Cruise was a big deal for young ladies- and she comes straight up and says, "Oh, sorry. I can't make it. My mom's cooking a lamb roast."
And that's how we need to be with our priorities no matter what the other opportunities, the other shiny things, the other comfort activities, whatever they are that come up, we are able to filter them through our true priorities and say, "Hey, I'm sorry about that. My mom's cooking a lamb roast."
Well, that's it for me for another week. Join me again next week when we look at the second element of productivity, and that is environment management. I'll see you then.
And, for those of you who want to go deeper in their journey why don’t you join me in my monthly coaching sessions. So go and take a look at grantherbert.com/monthly and you can see how you can join us on that.
It is Free