A couple of weeks ago, we were browsing through a thrift store when I came across a book entitled The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum W. Smith. Smith is one of the creators of the Franklin Planner, a planner my father enjoyed using for years. Because it seems I’m always working towards a better schedule for getting things done, I went ahead and purchased the book without even browsing through it. I think it cost a dollar.
As it turns out, it was one of the best dollars I’ve ever spent. I’m only about a third of the way through the book, as each chapter gives the reader a lot to think about. One of the things I’ve found most helpful was the chapter concerning governing values, or those things that are the highest priorities in our lives. They are unique to each individual, and although they are most important to us, they are often the things that get pushed aside when the urgency of the less significant fills up our time.
Smith, then, encourages the reader to decide just what his or her governing values are and to list them as a “personal constitution,” a prioritized list with a short description of what each one means. Writing that list as affirmations also helps you see yourself as you want to be. The list might include something like “I am a joyful and patient mother,” “I am debt-free,” or “I am dependable.”
I have written down my personal constitution, and I can already see how helpful it is. I can also see how many of my activities aren’t really related to my values. This, Smith says, is what causes many people to feel so frustrated.
What is one to do? Well, the next step is to write down my long-term and short-term goals based on those values, then make my daily plan based on those goals. I’m still working through that part, but I can’t wait to see the difference it’s going to make!