What I Expect From Myself

Sandra Cleveland |

What I expect from myself:


  • Clean and orderly house and office
  • To-do list completed every day
  • Manicured nails
  • Spend quality time with family and friends
  • Progress in profession
  • Volunteering in the community
  • Healthy eating
  • Up to date on current affairs
  • Live within my budget
  • Get adequate sleep


How am I to do it all?  According to Gayle Lantz, leadership expert and founder of WorkMatters, a consulting firm designed to help leaders think and work smarter,  the first step is to shift your thinking from time management to priority management


Don’t fill in your to-do list before you determine your priorities.


Move from pushing on the accelerator to putting on the brakes and get a clear perspective of your priorities to move forward faster in the areas that are most important to you.


The first evaluation to help determine your current priorities is to ask “When am I the most energized?”  What activities, people and experiences make you feel energetic and happy?  Work to add more of those experiences to your calendar.


The second evaluation to identify your priorities is to answer the question “What impacts do I want to make?”  Your actions make a difference.  What’s important to you and how do you want to make that difference?  Is it in your family, your community, your business, your church, a charity, a cause, underserved neighbors, villages on the other side of the world? 


The area where what energizes you overlaps with what impacts you want to make is where you can find your greatest contributions.  Getting clarity about what is important to you is a great filter to help prioritize your thoughts and actions.  Rather than filling your to-do list and calendar with what you expect from yourself, move towards living an energetic life that has a lasting impact. 


You are never too young or too old to get clarity on what’s important to you.  It’s not a one-and-done effort.  It’s especially important to reevaluate your priorities at transaction points in life - children leaving home, a job change, retirement.


As I was writing this, my “what I expect from myself” list continued to grow even while I was trying to move my thinking to clarity about my important priorities!  I kept slipping back into thinking the list is incomplete if I don’t address everything important to me, so I kept adding.  The original list had ten items; I finally stopped at 28!  I need to spend more time seeking clarity and less time with my foot on the accelerator trying to push through all these activities on my to-do list.


What about you?  Has mastering time management given you the life that you want?  Not certain?  Then try gaining some clarity about what is important to you and use that clear vision to move to priority management.      


-Sandra Cleveland-