We’ve all felt stuck in a never-ending rat race. With work, family commitments, and social obligations, it may appear that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. As a result, many disregard the things that are actually important to them, such as pursuing a passion, spending time with loved ones, or simply taking a moment to breathe and recharge.
This is why it’s more important than ever to find ways to prioritize the things that bring us joy and fulfillment, even amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
In this episode of The Lifehack Show, we interviewed Connor Swenson, a certified teacher of Make Time, Search Inside Yourself, and Adaptive Resilience, to share with us how to make time and space to do what truly matters to our lives.
Connor has taught productivity courses to companies such as Google, YouTube, L’Oréal, Klarna, and many others. With his wife Claire, he also operates Forgewell, an education company that helps organizations alter their culture and achieve greater performance, engagement, and well-being across their workforce.
Check out the full interview here:
Here are a few key insights you can’t miss from the interview:
Focus on One Thing
We are often distracted and multitasking by default, making it challenging to stay focused and productive. What you should do is set aside an hour or so each day for intense focus on ONE thing that is actually important to you. This could be personal goals like writing a book or organizing a family trip; or professional objectives such as pursuing a new career path or position. Whatever it is, the trick is to focus all of your energy and attention on it, even if everything else in our day goes wrong. It’s essentially one big thing that you prioritize and protect in your daily schedule.
By doing so, you shift your focus from being efficient (getting lots of little things done) to being effective (making progress on something that truly matters to you). You will feel a sense of success and fulfillment knowing you’ve made progress toward something important to you.
But I think focus yourself and having the intention and the purpose of one thing is amazing, because at the end of the day, if everything else goes to sh*t, if you do have that thing that you really invested your energy and attention into, it feels really good. — Connor Swenson
Listen to Your Gut When You Prioritize
Prioritize your tasks based on what’s urgent, satisfying, or brings you joy. Listen to what your body is telling you to do each day. Ask yourself “what’s one thing I could do today that would make everything else less urgent?”
I have this time blocked every day in my calendar. But I’m not choosing my one thing weeks or months in advance, I’m usually choosing it the morning of after I go for a morning walk. I sit down, I might close my eyes, I might even journal a little bit and I might just think, “what’s that thing that’s calling for my attention?” And if I just stop and I just listen, that thing usually arises because sometimes it’s something that feels like really exciting and there’s a creative energy and it’s like, OOH, that’s a thing that I really want to dive into today. Sometimes there is something that is quite urgent. — Connor Swenson
Connor believes that prioritization is a lifelong journey and it takes time to figure out what works best for you.
Setting boundaries allows you to efficiently allocate your time and attention. When you have well defined boundaries, you can prioritize your responsibilities and manage your time more effectively. It’s easy to get sidetracked by diversions or obligations that don’t correspond with your goals and priorities if you don’t set clear boundaries.
When you’re working on a project or going to an event, you can sit down and say, all right, what are the rules of the road? How do we communicate? When people don’t do that, it’s a mistake because then it becomes just this jumble and it’s very overwhelming. Instead of saying, “all right, let’s agree,” let’s think about and also just to share boundaries. — Connor Swenson
To do so, you need to communicate with others on what you deem acceptable and unacceptable. Some people, for example, may not mind being called on weekends, but others may like to keep a strict nine to five schedule. By having these dialogues and setting boundaries, you can avoid confusion and create a better work-life balance.
Although setting boundaries can be difficult, the time and effort invested is well worth it in the long run.
Making time for what matters to your life requires setting boundaries and prioritizing tasks based on personal intuition and a balance of urgency, pleasure, and joy. It is important to listen to your intuition and identify that one thing that worths your attention.
By properly prioritizing, you can minimize stress and attain a greater sense of fulfillment in your personal and professional life.
If you want to find out more about Connor’s stories and increadible insights on productivity, watch the full interview here.