Turn your time into values. If someone doesn't want to make time in their schedule for you, it might be a sign that it won't work out.
I used to be a hypocrite. Every day, I constantly told myself that I valued certain things in life. Family, friends, exercise, and many other things were vital for a happy life. Yet, for one reason or another, I refused to make time for them in my schedule.
Looking back, it’s not a surprise that I often felt lost and unfulfilled. Each day felt like a blur. For a long time, many things I did felt meaningless since I couldn’t find a sense of meaning in my daily routine.
But now, everything is different. I read Nir Eyal’s book “Indistractable” and began to turn my values into time by scheduling them each day. As a result, I’m much happier, fulfilled, and can wake up each morning with a massive smile on my face.
Here’s how you can do the same.
Create A List Of Things That Matter To You.
According to The Huffington Post, “by defining a list of personal values that are truly your own, you’ll be better prepared to make decisions. You’ll focus more on what matters. For many of us, that focus is truly the greatest value of all.”
Find a piece of paper and write your values down. Or, if you don’t have a piece of paper nearby, the notes app on your phone will suffice. If you’re struggling to come up with a list of things that matter to you, here are mine:
Once you can identify the things that matter to you, it’s much easier to implement them into your daily routine. As Nir Eyal writes in his book, Indistractable:
“Timeboxing enables us to think of each week as a mini-experiment. The goal is to figure out where your schedule didn’t work out in the prior week so you can make it easier to follow the next time around.”
Master The Art Of Prioritization.
Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. It’s what you do with them that matters. That phrase is a cliche for a reason: it’s true. What time do you wake up? What time do you go to sleep? Are there any non-negotiable tasks (such as taking your kids to school)? Chances are, you’ve got a lot of free time. But for one reason or another, you don’t use it efficiently.
I get up at 7am every morning. I take a shower, have breakfast, and then write a new article until midday. From 1–2pm, I learn a new language by hopping on a Skype call with a native speaker. But after that, I often don’t do anything until 6pm (dinner time).
Before I read Indisractable, I’d often use the afternoon to watch Netflix and do many other things that may not necessarily be the best use of my time. But now, I have a different strategy: I schedule my values for a specific time each day. For example:
- 2–3pm: Go for a walk in nature or around the neighborhood.
- 3–4pm: Call a friend or family member to see how they’re doing.
- 4–5pm: Learn about economics or personal finance.
- 4–6pm: Edit the article that I wrote earlier in the day.
Implementing this strategy from Nir’s book has made it much easier to do things every day that I find incredibly fulfilling. After all, meaningful days create meaningful weeks…. and meaningful weeks create meaningful years. Nir Eyal said it best:
“Input is much more certain than the outcome. When it comes to living the life you want, making sure you allocate time to living your values is the only thing you should focus on.”
Master the art of prioritization, and you’ll find it much easier to master every other aspect of your life.
Let Go Of Your Desire To Do Something Else.
Since I read Indistractable, I’m no longer tempted to check my phone or do anything else that may distract me from the present moment. Instead, my attention is solely focused on whatever I’m scheduled to do at any specific time of day.
For example, I no longer check my notifications whenever I’m on a FaceTime call with friends or family. Nor do I think about what I’m supposed to be doing later that day.
Consider doing the same. Try not to feel tempted to respond to a work email while you’re watching a TV show with your parents or kids. Similarly, it’s a good idea to listen carefully to what the other person says on a phone call, so it’s obvious that you’re fully present during the conversation.
If you want to improve your time management skills, consider applying these lessons from Nir Eyal’s book so you can focus more intently on your values. I’m going to leave you with a beautiful quote from Nir Eyal, who perfectly sums up what I’m saying:
“Being indistractable means striving to do what you say you will do. Indistractable people are as honest with themselves as they are with others. If you care about your work, your family, and your physical and mental well-being, you must learn how to become indistractable.”
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