An athlete knows that to grow his muscles, he or she must do something different than last time. For example, an exercise with more weight or a different exercise altogether.
Just like that, we need to look at different areas of our lives (finance, family, work etc), and attempt to do something different (i.e important/impactful) to GROW through life. Otherwise, we might be just not making much progress.
I used to think that if I just kept myself busy with school, work, or hobbies then I will “grow” through life. However, it didn’t work out to be that way!
Keeping myself busy with school (i.e., highlight or read notes) did not necessarily give me that “growing” feeling. The same was true with work and hobbies.
This experience got me to consciously realize that I was keeping myself busy with “not important and not urgent” activities. Or not taking the time to plan ahead about what I wanted to accomplish.
Understanding the Impact of Your Work
Almost all work we do in any area of our life can be broken down into the following buckets (by their importance and urgency).
For example, we can constantly just do things as they come to our attention – clean the kitchen, improve our diet, or go to the gym (i-e not important, but urgent).
However, if one wants to “grow” through life they should take out time for “important and not urgent” activities (see the diagram above). These include maintaining your health, changing your habits, committing to future goals, and planning ahead. All these things are important but not urgent.
Don’t know where you stand? Do a personal audit by taking a pen and paper and jotting down the kind of work you keep yourself busy with.
Categorizing Work According to its Impact
To realize where you are spending the most time, jot down your work/activities in each of the respective buckets. This will allow you to consciously realize (just like I did), as to where you are spending your time. From there, you can figure out what you should do to spend more time on important tasks.
So, are you spending time on important tasks and growing through life? Or are you just “going” through life?