The pale LED light from the alarm clock pierces the Sunday night darkness like a searchlight. A slight ringing in the ears seems to be getting just a bit louder as your mind processes the endless array of action items arriving in the morning along with the start of a new week. You should be sound asleep at this point, but for some reason your mind is still evaluating options even though you keep asking it to stop. Meetings, appointments, collaboration sessions, classroom sessions, homework, chores, dinner dates, and working lunch sessions are all wildly churning in your thoughts. You seek solace in the cool side of your pillow, to no avail. This is going to be a tough week…

This scene is played out all too often as the complexity of our lives ebb and flow in seemingly random cycles. By the time we arrive at work for the first day of the week, our schedules are already beginning to fill in, often without our direct engagement. It’s often hard to sort the wheat from the chaff with all the things we need to get done; If only we would have taken the time BEFORE the week started to figure out the truly important and meaningful items. What about our kids’ big game on Wednesday afternoon? When was the last time we surprised our significant other with a simple gift, a long embrace and a surprise dinner? Why has it been so long since we called our lifelong friend? The simple answer: we allow the chaos of our lives to control us instead of taking positive control of small but critical blocks of time that will make all the difference in the quality of our lives and achieving our goals.

What relationships mean the most to you? What goals do you really want to achieve? What are the values that will drive your everyday behaviors? Set simple and clear objectives around each of these truly important aspects of your life and schedule the time to focus on them before someone else takes the time from you. Put them on your calendar or in a simple scheduled task list and guard them jealously. If an urgent event trumps your timeslot, reschedule right then and there.

Don’t let life’s misadventures detour you from putting time aside for:


ü  An hour phone call to a parent


ü  A stop by the florist on the trip home


ü  A ninety-minute workout at the gym and a healthy lunch


ü  Researching that degree program

Years from now, you won’t be laying on your deathbed wishing you had attended more meetings or spent more time around the water cooler at work. You’ll be wishing you had focused more of your energy on the meaningful aspects of your life. Ironically, these are the things that we tend to brush aside first when urgencies appear. That ends now. Break the cycle before it’s too late.

The pale LED alarm clock light seems to be dimming into the Sunday night darkness. Your thoughts are slowly quieting knowing the 30 minute investment aligning time to the meaningful and truly important aspects of your life will make all the difference. Another week will NOT slip past you without channeling energy at what you know is important but rarely gets your attention. Rest easy now; next week is within your control.