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How To Improve Your Life By Discovering Your Why

How To Improve Your Life By Discovering Your Why

We live in a world filled by constant distractions. There are unlimited activities floating around us at all times that can take our attention, and often the ones that scream the loudest win. A simple way to improve your life is to discover your personal why.

Most people live their lives by focusing on what they have to do. The endless tasks continue to mount up, and we wonder why we never feel like we’re getting ahead. It feels like we’re sprinting on a treadmill just trying to keep up, and every task completed is quickly replaced by new ones.

Life gets a lot simpler when we stop to ask ourselves why we do things.

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What Is The Purpose Of Your Life?

Now this is not some big esoteric question that you will ponder for a lifetime. It’s really just something that you decide for yourself and can change at any time. What is the list of things that are most important to you in your life?

I find it helps to write down things that you really love doing. Maybe it’s spending time with friends and family, doing a particular hobby, your job, or traveling. The answers are going to be different for every single person reading.

What’s important… is what’s important to you. It’s very hard to improve your life if you don’t know what improvement actually looks like for you personally.

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Refining Your List Of Priorities

Once you have your initial list, you want to look at what’s really important to you. You do that by asking yourself why you love it and why it’s important to have it in your life. I’ve been doing this exercise over the last 3 years and found that my list got more and more refined as I went.

You also want to look at how much time you put into these activities that you love. Do you get to spend as much time as you’d like with each one, or do they get pushed to the back behind the other tasks in your daily life?

Discovering What’s Really Important

If you made another list of all the things you are actually doing in your life, then you’ll probably find a bunch of things you don’t really love. Some people may hate cooking and others will love it. Everyone is unique, and this is about finding out what you want to be doing… not what you feel you should be doing.

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It’s easy to fill our lives up with things that don’t really matter to us. The trick is to ask ourselves how we spend less time doing unimportant things and more time doing the things we love. It’s not a perfect process where you can drop everything right now, but as you focus from this point on, you’ll be amazed at the results.

Always Ask Why

Whenever a new item comes across your plate, you simply ask yourself why. Is it really important to join that new committee for your child’s school or would it be more effective to actually spend that time with your children instead? Does it matter if you miss your gym time at lunch because your boss needs you to work overtime or is your fitness break more important to you?

As I said before, everybody will be different. Some will rank career over fitness and other’s will rank it in reverse. What matters is that you’re making the choice that is right for you.

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It May Sound Simple… But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Easy

Our world is full of expectations that are placed on us by others… and also by ourselves. We’re expected to be super people that run around and accomplish a myriad of different things every day to be great at work and at home. People will often look at you strangely when they ask you how you are and you don’t answer with “busy” with that frantic look in your eye.

However, once you start examining your life through the lens of why, you’ll start asking yourself, “What’s important to me?” You need to step away from society’s expectations and start focusing on and refining your own expectations instead. When you do this, you’ll see the world from an entirely different viewpoint and be free to improve your life in any area that really matters to you.

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Craig Dewe

Craig founded Lifestyle Outlaws, with the belief that everyone should have the time, money and health to do what they want with life.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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