When was the last time you reviewed your weekly activities? Are you doing things you enjoy doing? Are you doing things you are good at doing? Or are you spending most of your time focused on things that you either don’t enjoy, aren’t good at doing – or both?! If we are going to escape the overwhelm and regain energy, we need to find ways to spend time on “desire zone” activities. Basically, these are the areas where you are both passionate and proficient (thank you, Michael Hyatt). Join me this week as I provide three recommendations on how to prioritize “desire zone” activities.
Take time to reflect on what you are both really good at doing and you like to do. If you need some help figuring that out, consider the types of activities that energize you. What is fun and comes easily for you? When have you spent time working on something without even noticing time had passed? If you struggle with coming up with specific ideas, you may want to start with the things you know that you don’t enjoy doing and take you a lot of effort to do. Then, you may start thinking of ideas that are a good fit for your “desire” zone activities.
It is really easy to get stuck continuing to do the things that you are good at doing and may not even realize that you don’t really enjoy them! You may also realize that you enjoy certain aspects of the work. For instance, I like to apply evaluation results to inform strategic planning; however, I do not enjoy actually conducting the evaluation efforts. For the past several years, I have been doing both aspects of evaluation and it is completely draining! In the next month, we are going to contract with someone else to conduct the evaluation and I can focus on applying and sharing the results.
Take time to look at your calendar, your to-do list or other ways you track your activities and consider how you are spending your time. Write down everything you can remember doing and then assign categories to the activities. In order to keep it simple, divide the activities into the things you enjoy doing/don’t enjoy doing and then those you are good at doing/are not good at doing. Then you can start to combine them into a table. Include specific activities in any of the boxes where they apply. Check out the table below using my evaluation work as an example. Remember that some things will fit in multiple boxes.
Once you have filled in this table with all of your activities, you can then consider those things that fall into both categories “enjoy doing” AND “good at doing.” This is your “desire zone.” Find ways to spend more time on activities that fit in your “desire zone” and less time on those things that are in the other categories. This may involve re-working budgets, hiring new staff, hiring contract employees and maybe even discontinuing some of the activities altogether. When you create space for these “desire zone” activities, everyone wins. You have more energy and excitement because you are working on things you are good at and enjoy. Your coalition, board, partnership, council or team benefits from you spending time on the things you are best at doing and really enjoy!
So what about you? What are you going to do to prioritize YOUR “desire zone activities?”
If you would like more support in applying this practical action, check out my newest free resource, Escape the Overwhelm Checklist or, click here to checkout the replay of my FREE Masterclass, Escape the Overwhelm, TODAY!