No, not that kind. Well…yes, consistency is incredibly important for pasta, and baking in general, but that’s not the consistency I’m talking about. The consistency I’m talking about is the discipline to do the important things day after day, no matter how mundane and repetitive they feel. More importantly than doing them, is making the time to do them.
As a husband and father, full-time employee, part-time consultant, and general assistant to my wife and her home-based business, it is very easy for me to simply say that I’m too busy to do the things that I know I need to do. I’m not talking about things like eating, sleeping, and showering, but things like writing for this blog, adding to my more intensive work on Medium.com, and using my Bullet Journal to help identify my priorities.
These are all things that take time to do, and take very intentional time to do well. If I don’t deliberately carve out time to do these things, then I lose the consistency and traction with my reader engagement, with my discipline, and with my own sense of well-being. Being mindful in doing these things means that I am paying attention to the things that matter, and spending less time on the things that don’t.
By focusing on the things that matter, and doing so in a mindful way, I’m building my own resilience and seeing the improvements. I picked up my Bullet Journal last Wednesday and realized that it had been over a week since I’d used it…and then picked it up again yesterday and realized that I hadn’t touched it since Wednesday. This meant that I hadn’t actually spent any time in the last couple weeks looking at what was important (a task that I usually undertake on Monday Mornings) and ignoring things that weren’t important.
I love the mindfulness that Bullet Journalling brings to my actions and how it allows me to be hyper-focused on the things that matter right now and putting the things that can wait to the side. My problem is that I have not been carving out scheduled blocks of time to do the things I need to do. Instead, I’ve been fitting them in when my schedule allows them. So, I’m changing that in a couple of big ways.
I’ve blocked one hour per day to dedicate to work planning and hyper-focused work in my office calendar. During that time, my door gets closed (with a polite sign asking to not be disturbed) and I do not accept any meeting requests without a very good reason. When I’m done work, my focus switches towards my family and the next couple hours are dedicated to taking care of the home-related items that are incredibly important. We’ll go to the park, clean the house, read books, sometimes even watch a movie. What is really important is that we do it together. After my daughter goes to sleep, I’m trying to dedicate a couple hours per night, at least three or four nights per week to writing and studying. I’m even considering deleting Facebook from my phone!
Once I’ve accomplished all of that, then I can game, or scroll mindlessly, or do other things that are generally unimportant but can be important de-stressors for many people (including myself). My weekends I largely leave open for family adventures, but try to put between four and six hours of work on writing, studying, and consulting work.
This consistency and discipline won’t be easy, but I think they’re important. If I’m going to build my knowledge and experience, then I need to make sure that the things I do are the ones that are important. So, I’ll be back to my regular three-post weeks for the forseeable future, with a fourth thrown in from time to time if my pending articles list gets too long (I am usually working at least a couple days in advance and would like to get that out to a week or more in advance)!
How do you structure your time to make sure there is time for the important things? What are the key things that you have to do to get the important things done? Tell me in the comments and let’s keep talking!
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