Your Time Intentions

Posted on June 14, 2012

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As I pointed out in my last post, when you’ve decided that you want to free up your life, keeping track of how you spend your time is certainly an important first step. But the next step is  even more crucial. Taking a look at why you decided to spend your time on the things you did gives you a clear perspective on what needs to change.
As you look over your time-tracking chart, honestly examine why you spent your time on the things you did. Usually, our intentions fall into one of three categories: Commitments, Things that make us happy and the Toxic Triad.
1. Commitments {C}These are things you do because they help maintain the quality of your life and the quality of your relationships. You may not love going to the ob/gyn, but you know it’s necessary for your health, so you go. You may not relish the idea of sitting through a six-hour graduation ceremony, but it’s a degree your niece worked hard for and you know it’s important to show your support for her, so you go. You may hate Monday work meetings, but you’d lose your job if you didn’t show up, so you go. 
 
2. Things that make you happy{ :)}: These are the things you do because they make you happy. They refill and recharge you. Your favorite workout video, a hike in the mountains, coffee with your best friend, a cooking class, dinner with your husband, happy hour with your sister, play time with your children. These are the things that fill your life with joy and energy.  
 
3. The Toxic Triad {TT}: Yes, these are bad. These are the things you do out of Fear, Obligation or Guilt. {They’re called the Toxic Triad because there are three of ’em. And they’re toxic}. These are the thing you know you don’t want to do, but you’re afraid not to do them because they may piss someone off/disappoint them. These are the things you do because you think you have to do them or else something bad would happen. 
 
PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes people get “Commitments” confused with “Obligations.” Doing something out of obligation is different than doing something out of commitment. When you do something out of obligation, the intention beneath it is usually fear of something {ie: the disapproval of others}. When you do something out of a commitment, the intention behind this is to improve the quality of your life and the quality of your relationships. 
Now, go back and look at how you’ve spent the past 168 hours of your week and analyze your intentions for each activity. Label each activity either a C {for Committment}, a 🙂 {for things that you make you happy} or a TT {for things you did out of fear, obligation or guilt.} 

Once you do this, the next step in freeing up your time will be much easier. 

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Posted in: Time Management