What would you do differently each day if you could see into your future?
Sorry, that’s a painfully stupid question, obviously it’d depend on what the future looked like wouldn’t it?!
It would make life easier if you could do that though. You could check out your future, make a few alterations, a few tweaks here and there in the now and then check out your new future and see if it was any good.
Sod it. Let’s do that then…
The bleeding obvious:
A lifetime is the sum of the years it is made up of. A year is the sum of the months, months, days, days, hours… and so on (that could get really boring so I’ll assume you’re with me and leave it there).
Each unit of time will contribute directly to the sum of the parts, no?!
The ‘clairvoyant’ bit:
The average amount of time you consistently spend doing something on a daily and weekly basis, as a percentage, is roughly the same percentage of your future that will be spent doing that thing.
This is how your future will be spent if you don’t make any changes.
The not so bleeding obvious:
What categories do you use when dividing up your time?
The categories should be divided into two parent categories.
- Things you can’t really avoid or should be doing and
- The good stuff that you actually like to do
So when we create the list, we need to stick to the essentials and the positives.
Suggested categories and divides:
- Eating/showering/toilet time etc. These can be lumped together (best not to actually do them all at the same time though. Spoils your food!)
- Travelling (e.g. to and from work)
- Having fun/hobbies
- Family time
(Add to the list anything else that applies to you, subtract anything that doesn’t)
Click here to use my spreadsheet for this.
Tip: When filling out your actual time spent on your activities… no smokescreens. If you really want this to work you need to not lie shamelessly to yourself. It’s a respect thing!
Important: Input the essential hours into both the actual and desired tables first. These are fixed numbers for now.
However, there are normally certain cross-overs in the activities like perhaps your family time, having fun and exercise are done simultaneously. 0.5 hours one day in the park playing sport with the kids for example.
Where this is true, you will already have the ‘essential’ hours in place as directed above. This might show you have a total of 1 hours exercise that day.
All you then need to do is split the allotted time equally between the ‘positives’ in question and input those numbers into the corresponding fields in the table. Now you can subtract the combined total of the two (family time/having fun at a total of 0.5 in this case), from the essential one (exercise at 1 hour) leaving 0.5 hours in the exercise field and 0.25 each for family time and having fun.
Due to the infinite number of individual circumstances possible, you might need to play around a little with the numbers ‘til it looks about accurate for you. This is merely a guide to help you see opportunities to use your time better.
Now you know how much time you have remaining to engage in the activities you want your future to consist of, that’s a start. What we’re looking out for now is room for growth. How much time are you wasting? How much of the pie you can use to make life sweeter, both now and in the future.
Give me my better future:
Can’t do that, sorry. But here’s what you can do.
- Think about what activities you want your future to consist of and use the ‘desired’ table in the provided resource to grow that slice using any time that is not being used. Don’t worry about how you will fill the time yet, just allot the time you would like to spend.
- Where possible, try transferring your time from the essentials to the positive activity. Can you use travel time to plan or learn? Can you combine exercise with hobbies?
- If you want a life of success and feelings of achievement for example (the following info will still apply to whichever is your chosen slice), seek out little daily and weekly tasks that will apply to that activity and consciously do them. When you have achieved them, treat yourself. You might choose to simply give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back accompanied with a mental “I made that happen!” source of satisfaction or you might actually treat yourself. Mix it up.
Add some extra flavour:
Even better if these little daily activities directly contribute to a higher, longer term life goal.
You won’t be disappointed to know that your rewards will be of the ‘buy one get one free’ variety as well because as you keep doing this, the unbelievably powerful force called the Force of Habit comes heavily into play. What you do often becomes second nature and you get more of the same. Standard.
So realise that each day is a mini life, providing definite information as to where you’re heading. If you sulk your way to your bedroom at night to go to bed, you will be sulking your way to life’s finish line. Why not arrive at the pearly gates with a grin so wide you have to wobble through ‘em sideways to fit?!