For me, Fall always feels like a new beginning. I run faster, breath deeper, and my energy rises with the cooler air and changing colours, even as urgent client demands and exciting new work and learning opportunities start to crowd my inbox. So this is also the time of year when ideas from books and articles on productivity, personal ecology, focusing and habit formation feel especially useful. Rick Hansen’s wonderful blog was particularly timely today. With ease and simplicity, he describes three ways to focus one’s life energy from week to week and day to day on what matters most: know your purpose; clarify your priorities; and take care of yourself. So simple! Here’s a summary, but read the whole thing, it’s worth it:
Know your purpose in life. Actually write it down. Make sure it’s short, simple, and focused on what you’re for, not what you’re against. Recommit to it daily, even moment to momen – and it can become a source of both energy and discernment. This is a core piece of the work we also teach at the Rockwood Leadership Institute.
Clarify your priorities. Identify the big goals in your life. They might relate to the “buckets” or categories of life you’ve identified on a coaching wheel (eg. community service; high performance at work; joyful parenting). Figure out what matters most, then rank each in order of priority. Like your purpose, a short, visible list of your key life priorities can serve as guides for continual discernment and course correction as you navigate what can feel like an avalanche of demands and interests every day.
Take care of yourself. At Rockwood this connects well to much of our work around Personal Ecology. Ensure you have the right nourishment – emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually – to support staying clear, focused and centered on what really matters to you. Then you can truly be of service, and present, to others.