If you Believe you do not have enough Time, Re-think your Priorities If you Believe you do not have enough Time, Re-think your Priorities
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Several years ago, I participated in Young Africans Leaders Initiative (YALI) at the East Africa Regional Leadership Centre in Nairobi. One day during the course of the program, I was chatting with one of the facilitators regarding work vs private life balance. He told me that there is no such thing as balance between work and private/personal life. This is because when we connect all important aspects of our lives and smartly navigate between them based on our priorities, we live a happy and fulfilling life. I agree and also live the same philosophy. The challenge of treating each aspect of life separately is that when one calls for more time and dedication, other aspects suffer more. For example, when there is a big project to be accomplished at work over a long period of time, if one is not careful, family or other important aspects of life may suffer because more time will be dedicated to execute the project. This situation may be handled better (but not perfect) if we strategically switch well between the demanding project and other aspects of life.

Over the years I have been learning to navigate between aspects of life and finding more fulfillment even during the busiest times. One day I went to work with our first child on a public holiday after enjoying good breakfast together at a Coffee Shop. We also had fun by singing his favorite songs along the way. Due to a demanding project, I had been coming home very late in the prior week and had to go to work during the public holiday but we were able to catch up and have fun as I finalize that particular project.

If you love reading and because of tight schedule you have not been able to read your favorite book or listen to your favorite podcast, you can listen as you drive to and from work. Podcast is a powerful way to spend time commuting. I have lately been listening to Business Wars podcast and it has been a very productive way of spending the time as I commute to different destinations. For those living in big cities, the amount of time we spend on traffic is a good opportunity to invest in our personal development. A number of people are struggling with reading books and wish to grow in this area, perhaps you can consider audio books and also take advantage of commuting time. I believe there is no such thing as “not having enough time”. Everyone has the same 24 hours. What we need to do is to identify our priorities and smartly navigate through them in a manner that will bring success and fulfillment.

As we grow in all important aspects of lives, we must learn to live smarter. I have intentionally put the word “important” because the importance of the subject matter is unique to different people. We will never find that ideal or perfect balance but we can live a fulfilling life by putting our priorities in order and strive to grow in switching between them. With the busy world, we need to have a strategy to stay focused and committed. I have a very simple process that works well for me. Every Monday morning I prepare my weekly schedule and for each day I put activities that covers all important areas of my life. I go through this schedule during the course of the week. Once you develop this habit, you will be achieving some of these activities even without regularly referring to the weekly schedule. As a devoted Christian, father, husband, employee, and African leader in my own space, despite the challenges and busyness of life, I keep growing in wearing all these hats and few others because I invest time and energy in developing the art of managing my priorities. I recommend this simple technique as it will not only improve your productivity but will also make your life more fulfilling.

How do you stay focused on your priorities in this busy world? Please feel free to share your thoughts with me.

By Joseph Waziri

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