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One of my goals this year is to learn Mandarin Chinese. But I've been struggling to keep the momentum going. Between book-writing, video-making, and business-running, I'm struggling to find the time to learn a language.
At first, I told myself that I'm just procrastinating from it. But recently I had a thought: maybe I'm not procrastinating from it; maybe learning a new language just isn't a priority for me right now. That is, maybe sometimes procrastination is prioritisation in disguise.
✍️ Procrastination vs. Prioritisation
It's all too easy to beat ourselves up for not learning a new language, for not starting a blog or Youtube channel, for not quitting the job and finding a new job. The culture of comparison created by social media encourages us to think that we are less because we’re doing less. But this isn’t always true.
We need to be honest with ourselves about whether we can actually make the time to do the thing we want to do. If we can’t or choose not to make the time to pursue the project or task, that’s okay too —we’re not procrastinating, we’re just prioritising. It might be the case that in this current season of our life, we’re choosing to prioritise other things, and maybe later we’ll get around to prioritising this new project.
🧠 The Energy Ledger
It can be hard to figure out what we should prioritise and to figure out whether we do in fact have the time to make progress on the projects that matter to us.
Here’s a simple tool that I use to figure out where I should be directing my energy. I call it the Energy Ledger.
Step 1. Go through your week and estimate how much time you’re spending on each activity. You can do this for your work, or your personal life, or both.
Step 2. Put each activity into one of the following four quadrants.
Here’s what mine looks like
The activities in the top left quadrant (things that you have to do and which boosts your energy) are the ones that we should be aiming to integrate into our lives.
The activities in the bottom right quadrant (things you don’t have to do, and which drain your energy) are the ones we should be aiming to eliminate from our lives. For me, scrolling social media, and watching YouTube videos on my phone in bed, are activities that I spend an inordinate amount of time doing, but that drains my energy rather than replenishes it.
❓Question of the week
I would love it if you guys could try out the Energy Ledger and let me know what you discover. Are there things that you are prioritising but shouldn’t be prioritising? Are there things that you aren’t prioritising but should be prioritising?
If you’re up for creating an energy ledge, please use this link here. As usual, the form will ask you for your name and email (optional) so that we can potentially reach out to you to ask for more details 🙂
📢 Answers from last week’s questions
Thanks to all of you who took part in our survey last week about "hard stops". Shoutout to Cissy who shared this article by Saundra Dalton-Smith MD about the different types of rest that we need. Saundra talks about 7 different kinds of rest, including things like physical rest, mental rest, and creative rest (yup, it's a thing). Saundra also says that sleep is not the same as rest, even though lots of us confuse the two. An eye-opening read!
That's it from me this week!