I was recently asked a question that made me to go the drawing board for a few days. Business consultant and author Gary Vaynerchuck has inspired me to really hammer down what I am good at, where I belong in the business world and how to remain focused. Too many times we find ourselves doing too much, and at the same time feeling unsatisfied.
How do you define your vision and stay focused?
- Write down your values: What is most important to you? List the top 3 things, develop an action plan on what it means to take care of those things, schedule them into your calendar, and don’t compromise! For me, it starts with family. I go on a “date” with my kids once a month. I call my mom every Saturday. Sundays are family days. These times are set aside in my calendar and they are iron clad. Next on my list is my health. I cannot run a business, pay bills, or take care of family if I am not healthy. My gym time is scheduled in. Once these things are on my calendar, any meeting, phone call, or work commitments are scheduled around them.
- Write down your activities: I realized that there are so many things I want to be a part of and help with, but there are only so many hours in a day. So choose wisely. I found myself saying yes to too many wonderful things like, volunteering on the board of several non-profits, signing up for multiple networking groups, joining different political organizations and meeting with them. It wasn’t long before I was neglecting my work because I made commitments that I couldn’t handle, and then I felt terrible about not following through. Start with your business or full time job and list all the activities you are a part of. Pick the top 3 and focus on those. If you can handle more, good, but remember, every time you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else.
- Revise your list quarterly: Sometimes priorities change or we may get side tracked. Every 3 months, go back to your list and review what is most important to you. Review your activities, hold yourself accountable, ask your business partner or spouse what they need from you and make a plan for the next quarter. If you write down your priorities, not just verbalize them, you will be less likely to get sidetracked. The important thing is that even if you are only doing 2 or 3 things, that you rock each one like a master sensei.
Determining your priorities and committing to them is the pathway to a happy and fulfilling life.
By Ileana Pérez
Ileana Pérez is a freelance photographer and virtual assistant. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and Spanish is her native language. She lives in Sioux Falls with her two children.