Thursday, July 9, 2009

what are your "non-negotiables"?

We all have tasks on our daily to-do list that are non-negotiable: we will do them no matter what else is going on. For many of us, this list includes things like brushing our teeth, eating, and checking our email. But what else is on your list? Have you ever given it much thought?

Ideally your non-negotiables are your most important tasks—those things that make your life rich, move you forward on important goals or projects, and just plain make you happy. In the perfect world, your non-negotiables are in sync with your values.

One of my non-negotiables is putting something away when you get it out. It’s one thing I will always take a few moments to do…even if I’m in a hurry. What are your non-negotiables, and are they in sync with what you really want?

Next time you feel as if you don’t have time to do something you really want to do, do a gut-check on your non-negotiables. Are they your most important items, or simply things you’re doing out of habit? If you find the most enriching items on your to-do list are getting squeezed out by lower value tasks, renegotiate your non-negotiables. One by one, replace a low-value daily task you’re simply doing out of habit, with an activity that is more enriching and rewarding. Little by little you can transform how you spend your days, and enrich your life in the process.

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