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Managing Oneself

I’m stuck.  I want my passion back!  I’ve been a motivated person most of my working life.  I’ve taken on challenges; sometimes there was success and sometimes failure.  But, I was motivated to try.  I knew the goals I wanted to achieve, and I set out to make them happen. I want to stay mentally alert and engaged. I don’t want to be the type of person that talks about the past as if it were the present.  Before, I managed myself intuitively.  Now that my passion seems to dwindle, I must learn how to manage myself.

If this is how you are feeling, here are some tips for doing just that!

  1. Schedule important activities first.  A calendar to schedule events we “want” to do, “should” do, or “commit” to do is essential.  For example, I “want” to babysit my grandsons every Wednesday, I know I “should” go to the gym at least twice a week, and I “commit” to volunteer for an organization that is important to my values.  I have just scheduled activities that are important in my life.
  2. Determine where you are spending time.  If you schedule activities, review your last three months’ calendar.  For several months, if you are not a person that schedules activities, start to write what you are doing and when.  The objective of this exercise is to call attention to the activities that are consuming your time.  Are these activities you enjoy doing or activities that waste time?  By analyzing time spent, it calls attention to enjoyable activities and activities that waste time.
  3. Improve in areas of interest.  Once you have determined areas of interest, go to work on acquiring the skills and knowledge you need to become even better.  The idea is to concentrate on those activities of interest and competency.  Most of us enjoy activities we do well and ignore activities we do poorly.  Therefore, improve on your strengths and waste little time on low competence activities.
  4. Set yourself up for success.  I know I work best given deadlines.  Also, I work well if accountable to another person.  So, when I was ready to write my first book, I used the knowledge of how I like to work to set myself up to produce – completing the book.  Do you like working alone or with someone?  Do you need structure or thrive in a more creative environment?  Understanding how you like to work and perform is useful to get things done or accomplish tasks.  Learn how you perform and use this information to tackle projects you want to complete.
  5. Seek to fill needs.  Are you a person that enjoys being alone or being with others?  Do you have an interest and find it difficult to know others who enjoy the same activity?  Are there times when you encounter people or groups where you just do not feel welcomed?  You must take responsibility for forming and forging relationships or finding groups where there are shared interests.  They do exist, but it takes time to make it so.

In the end, the challenge in managing oneself, whether that be to have fun, contribute, feel successful, or find meaning in one’s life;  reverts to the Nike slogan…Just Do It!