Time management workshop tip – Define what happiness is to you

time-management-workshop-tip-define-happiness-graphic-from-graphicrefelctions-dot-org

Yes, this is another blog post based on an article in an airline’s magazine. This time, it’s the April 2015 edition of the magazine from Southwest Airlines.

As I write this, I’m on a flight from San Antonio to Los Angeles for a conference where I’ll be able to maximize time by doing triple duty: I’m attending a conference where I’ll be able to get the CEUs I need for this year for my certification; I’ll be running the board meeting for the organizing and productivity industry’s certification board and mapping out our strategic plan and actions for the year; and I’ll be speaking at the same organizing and productivity conference. (Not a time management workshop like I usually present, but an FAQ session about BCPO’s certification.) Yahoo! That’s productive!

My family happens to live in Los Angeles, so I’m flying in four days early to hang with la familia. I’m getting my work done on the plane because once I land, I’m all theirs. No emails or phone or work. Just focused, present family time.

Anyhoo, in Southwest Airlines’ magazine, I came across an article about Dan McLaughlin, who’s half-way through testing the theory of 10,000 hours of practice making someone an expert in that field. I originally started reading it because my brain is focused on the certification for my industry, which is based on being an expert. The Certified Professional Organizer® credential is not designed as an entry into the field; it was created to prove expertise. I’m serving as the President of our international board of certification, so this topic is dripping from my frontal lobe.

Instead, I was touched to see a man who is both challenging himself to reach new heights, and at the same time attempting to live life on his own terms. He quit a corporate job in 2010 to become a professional golfer – even though he had little golf experience. And he continues with this quest, even though to me and many others, it seems like a struggle.

While reading Michael Kruse’s article, 3,963 Hours to Go, you might go through a range of thoughts like, “This guy is just a hippie wanderer” or “I wish I could do that” or “I don’t know if he’ll make it” or “Man, I wouldn’t want to live like that.” As I read it, I thought, This is awesome – if he’s happy.

Time management workshop tip – Knowing your target helps keep you motivated, which increases productivity.

As I’ve mentioned in my time management workshops, happiness seems to be this fleeting goal we all have. I call it fleeting because I’ve met so many people and clients who are chasing down the dream to be happy, but they have one major hiccup in their quest: They haven’t defined what happiness or success means to them. If you don’t have that definition, how do you know when you’ve reached success, when you’ve achieved your goal?

At the end of the article, the author asked the question that had been floating around in my head:

“Are you reconsidering?”

Dan McLaughlin’s response:

“As long as you’re doing what you want to do and you’re happy and healthy, you’re on the right path.” Yes, he was happy.

What’s your definition of happy? Your salary? The amount of time you spend with your family? How do you measure your happiness?

When you create your definition, put it in writing, and view it every day, you’ll have a measurable target. And you might be surprised how close to your target you come each day.

Celebrate that…instead of constantly looking at all you have left to do. Celebrate when you come close. Celebrate even more when you hit it! And let that celebratory moment – that feeling of accomplishment – sink in for a day, or at least a few hours…before returning to pounding the pavement to do what in your eyes is still undone.

 

For other tips that I share during my time management workshops, check out my other blog posts.

Leave a Comment