4 Ways to Focus on What Matters Most

These time-spending tips will help you create a life that reflect your values.


Image Licensed by Ingram Publishing

Image Licensed by Ingram Publishing


How often have you found yourself saying: ‘If only I had the time to….’, or ‘maybe one day when I have more time’? We hear a lot about ‘time-saving’ techniques, but what about ‘time-spending’?

Let’s face it: we can’t do anything to change the clocks. There will always be 24 hours in each day, many of which will be spent sleeping, working (and thinking about sleeping or working!).

What you can do is focus on what you truly value and take steps to create lives that truly reflect these values. This not only benefits ourselves, but our entire families. So how do you go about changing our focus?

1. Record. Over the next week observe and record how your time is currently spent. Use a blank page for each day and write the times of day on the left hand side. Beside each hour write a few simple words about the activity that took place. i.e. 3pm – kids from school, errands. At the end of the week add up the number of hours spent on each of the main areas (i.e. work/sleep/household duties/outings/ errands etc.)

2. Reflect. The following week, devote 5-10 minutes a day to contemplating what truly matters to you. Ask yourself: ‘What do I value in my life? What is important to me?’. Another way to do this is to set a timer for 5 minutes, write down the question(s), and allow whatever answers come to flow from your mind to paper. The trick here is not to censor yourself! Don’t worry, this list is for you alone.

3. Compare. Take a look at your initial list of how you spent your time. Now take a look at your values. Do the two match up? For example, if one of your values is spending quality time with your family, how much time are you allocating to this?

4. Prioritize and Set Goals. It is unrealistic to expect that the majority of our time be spent doing what we truly value. Your family may be a bigger priority, but your job takes a considerable amount of time. What is realistic is to set mini-goals for yourself each week. This could include avoiding checking emails after a specific time of day and instead spending this time playing or reading stories with your kids.

Spending time in ways that are in alignment with what is truly important to you will lead to a greater sense of well-being and a deeper connection with yourself and others. Give it a try and share your comments with us!



Author: Chloe Oliver

Chloe Oliver is a Personal Coach and Registered Counsellor with a private practice in Cobourg. She has been empowering others to clear mental, emotional and physical spaces for over 20 years. Visit www.clearspaces.ca for more info.

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