There seems to be an acceptance and even of pride when we are able to describe our day or life as busy. Busy seems to be a title that we wear with pride. You can ask anyone “How are you?”. 100% of the time the answer would be “I am good and so busy.” Is that what we really want to achieve out of this life? To be busy? I am sure that none of us want to reach the end of lives and think that all we have accomplished is being busy.
What can we do to change our perspective and transform the way we approach our priorities and time to bring about meaningful and significant outcomes? The shift in our mindset starts with being intentional. To be intentional with what we do with our time and energy. To be intentional with how we align our priorities with time and energy. To be intentional with completing the important goals and not to be distracted.
What can we do to be intentional?
- Know what you want to achieve. The starting block is always having a goal in mind. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly goals. If you are starting from ground zero, start small. Start with a daily goal. That’s right, just ONE goal. For example, to complete a report by end of the day. Be specific in what you want to achieve.
- Be intentional in how you plan out the day. With that goal in mind, set aside the time to complete it. Move your schedule around if you have to. There is a need to put structure around achieving the goal. Protect that time to achieve it. You might even have to say “NO” to other people which could be the first for you.
- You are in charge of your schedule. It might seem like a foreign concept to most of us when our schedules and priorities are determined by others. However, the truth is that you and I are in control. If you do not take charge, then you are going to be busy and aimless. Be intentional in one the part of the day that is for you and only you to complete your goal. For example, set aside 30 – 60 minutes in your schedule just for you. It might mean that you have to get up at 6am to get that time, do it. It is more satisfying to know that you have accomplished something that you have set out than just going through the daily busyness and wondering at the end of the day, what happened?
- Get use to saying NO. The ability to say NO is crucial. One of the first words any child utters would be NO. To decline to “help” someone might seem so cruel and unhelpful, however, by saying Yes is being cruel to yourself. Of course, I am not saying don’t ever help, just be selective in what you say Yes to. By all means, help when you can and are able. Just bear in mind that you do have a choice.
- Reflect at the end of the day. Time of reflection is a great way to build the “Intentional” muscle. It requires practice and changes as we progress. Time of reflection gives us opportunities to improve, to be grateful and thankful as well as to motivate us to continue to grow.
To be intentional takes time and effort. The starting point is to start. My favourite Yoda saying “Do or do not. There is no try.” There is a simple truth in that. To be intentional requires doing. Don’t try to be intentional, Be Intentional.