It’s hard to tell the difference between the important and the urgent.
Those urgent things seem to take all your time, leaving you little energy left to do what’s really important. Managing this tension is one of the most important things you can do as a leader.
The battle won’t be won with a huge air attack, but with a daily ground war. There are little things you can do today to put the urgent stuff in its place and do important things to truly make your life better.
Here are five important things you can do TODAY.
1. Say thanks to someone.
They say gratitude is an attitude, but that’s crap.
You might feel thankful, but that’s not enough. You actually have to say thanks for it to make any real difference.
One of the best ways to do this is sit down at a table and write three thank you notes. You can do this today in about 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a poetic novel. I’m talking about a simple note of thanks.
I make a recurring to-do item on my to-do list that simply says “thank someone for something.” Each day this pops up, I write a note or send a gift to someone. Sometime, I have to think for a minute or two, but there’s always someone I can encourage or appreciate.
2. Give something to someone.
You have a friend or neighbor or co-worker who needs something you have. Maybe it’s a tangible item. Maybe it’s your time. Maybe it’s a connection to someone else.
But you have it and it would mean a lot to someone else. Letting go of stuff is one of the most freeing things you can do.
A friend of mine recently cleaned out his closet and took five bags of clothes to Goodwill. Not only is their life simpler and a little more clutter-free….they were able to help other people.
Another friend of mine is starting a brand new church, and told me how blessed he was to receive a financial contribution from a stranger.
If you have more than you need, consider giving something away.
3. Think about your life goals.
New Year’s resolutions are dumb. Yearly goals are too-short term. You need something bigger to anchor you. You need life goals.
Fast forward your life 30 years and think about where you will be. Then backtrack and write some life goals. These are major, awesome, and lifetime achievements.
4. Be honest about something.
Living a double life is exhausting.
There’s something going on in your life, heart or world that needs to come into the light. It might be a secret or it might be a fear, but if you can be honest about it, you will be healthier and happier.
Honesty does something for the soul. And relationships where you can be totally open are life-giving.
5. Work on something that matters.
We all have to do work stuff that doesn’t fulfill us. It’s just the way it is.
But find as much time in your schedule to work on something that really matters. That’s a sweet spot, and it will bring you real fulfillment in work.
Maybe you have a message that others need to hear. Maybe you have a book in your heart. Maybe you have a dream to start something of your own.
If it’s a big, huge, audacious thing – just do something small today. Push it forward, even if it’s just a few inches. Progress comes in little doses then jumps forward suddenly.
I’m working on something to help you bring this to life and can’t wait to share it with you.