Do What Makes You Happy

by Nov 27, 2019Strategy | Entrepreneurship

Are you happy?

Are you making time to do things you enjoy? Sam Horn, the author of Someday is Not a Day in the Week explained a very simple process to help answer those questions during her presentation at this year’s Indiana Conference for Women.

Ms Horn asked us to draw a box on a piece paper, and number the squares 1 – 4 and fill each box with answers to four simple questions about how we spend our time.

What’s in your box

Box #1 – What are the things you get to do that you enjoy. This is the easy box. Hopefully you have a few things that come to mind right away; your job, spending time with family and friends, vacations, or just carving out an hour to read a book.

Box # 2 – What’s on your wish list? These are the things that you would do if you had more time. As I answered this question I felt a sense of regret. These are things I love to do, but rarely seem to find time to fit them into my week.

Box # 3 – Which activities drag you down? The trick to this exercise is to find ways to get things on this list off your plate, or do them more efficiently so you have time to invest in things which will bring you joy.

Box # 4 – What tasks have you let go of? Celebrate the things in this box and your strength in letting them go. Maybe it is a bad habit or toxic relationship or a job that was sucking the joy out of your days. Letting go of things that weigh you down is as valuable as making time for things that lift you up.


Commit to take action

The next part of the exercise was harder. Sam asked us to pick something from Box #2 and schedule it for some time in the next few weeks. And just to make sure we didn’t back out, we needed to find an accountability buddy in the room and share our commitment.

As I was scheduling my event, I realized the power of putting a date on my calendar. Instead of hoping I will carve out some time, I have an appointment, not just with myself but with my accountability buddy. And I find myself excited and looking forward to  keeping that appointment.

Bring the Four Squares Into Your Business

As important as it is to have a balanced life, it is also important to have a balanced business. So I am going to do this exercise again, this time with my team. As we have grown, everyone has projects and tasks on their plates that they love or hate. While we can’t get rid of all the things we don’t like to do (after all we have to keep the lights on), we can look at ways to creatively manage our schedules so there is more balance and more joy.

What about you? What will you move from Box #2 to Box #1? What will you make time for, and what will you take off your plate?   

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