In an effort of self improvement, I forced myself to listen to a new book called “What the Most Successful People do in the Mornings” by Laura Vanderkam. My first confession of many will be that I downloaded it almost a year ago from iTunes and mentally rolled my eyes everytime I searched for a new book to read and skipped over it in my iTunes library. “That doesn’t sound like fun at all”. “I’m just not a morning person”. “I get a ton of work done late at night, I’d be a zombie if I burned the candle at both ends.” “New moms should get every bit of sleep they can (my daughter is almost 2, so I’m actually way past the up-all-night phase)”.
Finally, for lack of inspiration with new book selection, I decided to give this one a try. I got through the whole thing. And then I read it again. And I’m thinking about reading it again.
What I’m learning is that we all have 168 hours in a day. We have a lot more time than we think. The reason some people accomplish more with their days and others seem hurried and stressed, always wishing they could just take a nap is that the first group are deliberate about how they spend those hours.
It’s like Steven Covey’s “put the big rocks in first” illustration. We all have a glass jar of time to fill each day. If we prioritize our goals, deciding each day what the most important ones, “the big rocks” are and place them in the jar first, we’ll have room for the smaller rocks, pebbles, sand and water. It’s important to note that the big rocks need to be limited. Only put those big rocks in that are “core competencies”. Only those priorities that only you can do – that you’re the best at. To me those rocks are being the best mommy and wife ever, selling homes, developing my “side of the street” at OklaHome and getting healthy. No one else can do these “rocks” better than me. Lots of other people can do the smaller rocks better than me. The problem is that the smaller rocks are easier to carry. They’re usually more fun too. They make me feel accomplished because on a to-do list they get just as big of a checkmark as all the other stuff (usually the big rocks get stuck on my to-do list waiting for “more time” to get tackled). But fighting small fires and letting my email box and facebook page manage my day is false productivity. As I burn the midnight oil I may smile at my empty in-box but in the big picture, this week is no different than last week. I haven’t accomplished more this month than last month and I’m no closer to my New Years resolutions by December than I was in January. I just have sparkling clean in-boxes by midnight. And my life looks really exciting on facebook.
Instead I want to start with the end in mind. I want to be a goal setter, and a goal worker and a goal accomplisher. Then I want to make bigger, better goals. I want to look back on my life, on my year, on my week and on my day and be a better Christian, mommy, wife, employee and boss. How do I get there? By getting up early (it only hurts for a few minutes), picking up my big rocks, prioritizing my time and living life deliberately.