“Pay yourself first.” is a mindset you want to adopt to reach your goals.
Prioritizing Yourself: Why ‘Now’ is Your Time
Have you ever felt caught up in the rush of life, constantly chasing deadlines, responding to requests, and putting out fires, only to realize that your dreams and personal projects always seem to take a back seat?
You are not alone.
But here’s a piece of advice that might help: ‘Pay Yourself First.’
No, this is not about money.
This is about claiming the best of your time, your attention, and your energy for your dreams and personal goals.
It’s about making a commitment to yourself and deciding that your aspirations are just as important, if not more so, than other demands on your time.
Life has a way of taking over if we let it.
The busy work, the distractions, the unexpected crises. We often get caught up in these and tell ourselves, “I’ll work on my dreams when I have the time.”
But let’s be honest. That time rarely comes.
Waiting for the ‘right time’ to work on our dreams is like waiting for the stars to perfectly align – it may never happen.
This is where the principle of ‘paying yourself first’ comes into play.
It’s about setting aside time for your personal projects before anything else.
It means waking up each day and committing to invest your prime hours into what truly matters to you.
Whether it’s writing a book, learning a new skill, starting a business, or any personal project that aligns with your values and ambitions – these deserve your best hours, not the leftovers after a tiring day.
Paying yourself first is about understanding that your dreams matter.
It’s a stand against the never-ending tide of demands and distractions that can hijack our day. It’s about drawing a boundary and saying, “This is my time. My dreams are important.”
So, are you ready to start prioritizing yourself? Are you ready to stop waiting for the perfect moment and start creating it?
If you answered yes, then it’s time to pay yourself first.
Remember, in the story of your life, you’re the hero. It’s high time to start treating yourself like one.
Parent your dreams well.
Your goals and kids have a lot in common: there’s never a good time for them, they are demanding, and stretch your comfort zone, but, ultimately, they can fill your life with meaning and purpose.
Ready? Great. Not? Start anyway.
So here are some practical steps on how to apply the ‘Pay Yourself First’ principle to your time and efforts:
- Identify Your Personal Projects: The first step is to clearly identify your personal goals or projects. What are the dreams or passions you’ve been putting off?
- Schedule Deep Work Sessions: Coined by Cal Newport, “Deep Work” is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. Block off time on your calendar for these deep work sessions to make progress on your personal projects.
- Time Blocking: Designate specific time slots for your personal projects. This could be the first thing in the morning or any time you’re at your best. Respect these time blocks as you would any important meeting.
- Set Clear Boundaries: Learn to say ‘no’ to demands or distractions that encroach on your personal project time. Make sure your friends, family, and colleagues understand and respect these boundaries. Be warned they may throw a tantrum or two, but eventually they’ll come around when they see you are serious.
- Assemble Your Tools: Use productivity apps and tools to help you stay organized and focused. Tools like Trello for task management or Forest for staying focused can be very useful. My personal fave is an old-school kanban board with post-it notes.
- Self-Care: Don’t forget to take care of your physical and mental health. Rest is the ultimate productivity tool. Exercise regularly, eat healthily, and ensure you get enough sleep. You’re more likely to be productive when you’re in good health.
Pack this quote to motivate you on this journey:
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
– Earl Nightingale.
Remember, you’re investing in yourself and your future.
While it may seem tough initially, the rewards of achieving your personal goals and living a life aligned with your values are immeasurable.
It all starts with deciding to prioritize yourself, and get your cut before the rest of the world reaches for it.
Creating a manual for people on how take focused action, follow through, and manage our Ancient Brains in the Age of Distraction – without going nuts in the process. Sign up to my newsletter and start bridging your Intention-Action Gap!