Every time you choose one thing over another, you are taking time and effort away from something else, or even someone else. Every single choice has a cost. This is just another reason that our choices are so important. No, not everything in this world can be a priority for this very reason. We have to be very intentional with the way we live our lives, because we all have limited time and resources. Sure, we can delegate tasks to others, but this doesn’t solve everything. This means that we must weigh the cost versus the payout; the risk versus the reward; and the effort versus the possible result, and then make decisions accordingly.
In an effort to help you see all of your options, even if there seems to be no margin left in your life, here are three ways to know if the cost of your choices is adding up to something great:
First, how important are the actions you are taking?
So many times people do things that just aren’t important, but they feel are required of them. The role of the micromanager comes to mind here. One question you can ask yourself along the way to know if you are doing what is necessary is, “Am I helping or hurting the situation?” People can actually hurt the outcome just by doing the right thing at the wrong time, so timing is important as well. Not to mention that when you allow others to make attempts, you allow them to learn valuable lessons in the process. Letting others take action empowers them to do more in the future. Yes, by not doing everything, you are actually helping people, because they need practice, too. In the end, it is imperative that you know you are doing the absolute very best thing you could be doing. If you’re not doing what brings the most value, then it’s probably time to find a way to either eliminate it or delegate it.
Second, are people being positively impacted by most, if not all of your efforts?
We can’t look at the amount of people who are impacted by our work enough, because the reach of our influence changes things. My goodness, are people important. To change the world, we must examine the way in which we view others. People aren’t here to be used and abused, but to be cared for, and it is when we find how we each are individually wired that we can care for people in remarkable ways. Sure, there are people all around us who need us, but we must be willing. Ideas are never enough; there must be action taken to create a lasting change.
Third, how much do you value your time?
Your decisions show how much you value your time. If you are wasting time, not focusing on your priorities, then you aren’t viewing your time as valuable. When you realize that we all only have one life to live, and there isn’t much guaranteed in this world, but we are all guaranteed to die, this whole valuing your time thing becomes so much more important. When you waste your time, you waste your life — it’s that simple.