LIFE GOALS

When you feel stressed, worried, or anxious, it’s hard to work productively. In certain situations procrastination works as a coping mechanism to keep your stress levels under control. A wise solution is to reduce the amount of stress in your life when possible, such that you can spend more time working because you want to, not because you have to.

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To me the greatest benefit of getting organized has been a greater ability to concentrate when working and a greater ability to relax when not working. Working in a self-maintaining, uncluttered environment can increase productivity by making the process of work flow more smoothly. If you feel that excess clutter is overwhelming your ability to relax and enjoy your work environment, take the time to make your organizing decisions in advance about where everything should go and why. Then you can focus on getting your real work done, since you’ll be able to quickly recognize where each object goes and conveniently put it away.

Once you know and understand your personal values, you can consult them whenever you need to make a key decision. Should you accept the new job you’ve been offered? Should you pursue a new relationship now? How much time should you spend with your family? These can be tough decisions without a clear right or wrong answer. You may choose to answer them differently at different points in your life. Your values list provides a shortcut for making these decisions intelligently. When you’re confronted with such a decision, you pull out your list and check the prioritization of values. Then ask yourself, “What would a person with these values choose to do in this situation?” It’s usually the prioritization of your values that will answer the question.

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For example, if you’re offered a job promotion that will shift your work weeks from 40 hours to 60 hours but double your salary, should you take it? If values like success and achievement are at the top of your list, you’ll probably say yes.


If freedom and family are at the top, you’ll likely decline the promotion. By clarifying your values, you’ve already done the hard thinking required to discover what’s most important to you. So now when you’re confronted with such decisions, you’re able to reduce them to a values comparison, and the final decision falls into place. If the promotion equates to increased success but reduced peace in your mind, then you can compare those values to learn whether it’s a good idea or not. Your goal is to increase your fulfillment of your highest values without sacrificing them to lower values. Remember that this is only one of many paradigms for making decisions. As such it has limitations, but you should find that it brings clarity to your decision-making.

Whenever your values shift, you may find it necessary to realign the various parts of your life to restore them to a state of harmony with your values. If success is your #1 personal value, then it will be important for you to experience it in abundance. Success for you may equate to a successful career, a high income, a fulfilling relationship, and a healthy body. Ask yourself what parts of your life are misaligned with your top values, and consider how to bring them into full alignment. When you notice a misalignment between your reality and your values, you have two basic options to restore alignment.


First, you can adapt the situation to restore alignment. So if health is your top value, and you realize you’ve been keeping too much junk food in your house, you can modify your kitchen to fit your new health value, phasing out the junk and restocking with healthier choices. Secondly, you can remove yourself from the situation and start fresh to create alignment from scratch. If you find yourself in a relationship where you definitely want to have children and your boyfriend or girlfriend definitely doesn’t want children, you can choose to break up and seek out a more compatible relationship.

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