Everything on Purpose

by Tim McMullen

“If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice.” — Unknown

We are each given 24 hours in a day, yet how we choose to divide and conquer this time is a unique and intentional decision. When we assess where we are against where we want to be, it becomes clear that the potential for growth is all around us. However, when we’re stressed, burned out, or just don’t have a plan, we can miss out on these important opportunities. Below are 3 techniques to purposefully optimize our time for peak performance.

Stop One Thing. Start One Thing.

Change doesn’t have to come in large, sweeping movements, but instead it can come from small, moment-to-moment choices. Choose one thing to stop doing and one thing to start doing. Practice this for one year. To keep this top of mind, I like to carry around a physical reminder (a little, yellow brain) with the thing I want to start doing written in green on one side, and the thing I want to stop doing written in red on the other.

Ask yourself: What do you need to sacrifice in order to make room for what counts?

Find Your Life Balance

Life balance means making time for what matters. It’s not about devoting the same amount of time to each activity; instead it’s about understanding and being intentional about the breakdown of our time. For example, it’d be unrealistic to spend as much time exercising as I do at work, but life balance allows me to purposefully devote a certain amount of time to each. Here is the current breakdown of my 108 waking hours/wk:

  • Professional: 55 hours
  • Physical: 10 hours
  • Spiritual: 8 hours
  • Relational: 35 hours

Ask yourself: Am I happy with the breakdown of my time against professional, physical, spiritual, and relational activities, or do I need to shift things around?

Lead With “No.”

I try not to think of next month as open on my calendar. Instead, I think of it as pre-populated with my life plan. We need to protect our future time. We should say no to:

  • New projects that don’t fit
  • Things that will change our “today”
  • Projects that we can’t leverage others to help with
  • Things that don’t get us closer to where we envision our future selves

Ask yourself: Will saying “no” to this allow me to focus on my goals and priorities?

The path from where we are to where we want to be doesn’t have to be filled with giant leaps and vast unknowns. By making small sacrifices, being intentional about our time, and protecting our priorities, we’ll all be well on our way to purposeful growth and peak performance.

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