My best friend invited me out for dinner recently. I opened my diary (I don’t do digital) and told her that I was out of the country that week, busy the following Monday (my House of Lords roster night), Tuesday I had a board dinner (West Ham FC), Wednesday I was speaking at an Equality Conference, Thursday was a nightmare but Friday was good. She said her diary was full that Friday ….but she would clear it as she makes time for the things she cares about. Her words touched a nerve because it made me realise I haven’t been doing that.
Every week, every day, ever hour of my life is allocated to a meeting and some days I cannot find a minute to eat (very good) or a minute to pop for a wee (very bad)!
I am in a busy period. I have a new 54,000 seater stadium to move in to in June, a business with a turnover close to £140,000,000 to mange, 850 staff to motivate, my House of Lords duties to fulfill let alone find time for my family, friends and something called a life!
It dawned on my that my life was out of balance and I recognized that life has to be filled with more than obligations and duties, it has to be happy.
An inspired life should, well, frankly make you feel alive.
The truth is that its not about having time, it’s about making time for the things that matter and my diary was not a reflection of all the only things I totally care about.
Which is why my new resolution is to find that balance between what I need to do and what I want to do.
I want to drive my son to school. I want to take my mum out to lunch. I want to go dancing with my best friend. I want to go to the hairdressers and stay for an entire appointment and not have to dash out half way through with wet hair because of a work crisis!
So how do we make time for what matters? It’s all about priorities, and I have come to the conclusion that there should be three boxes of your life. Home. Work. Yourself. Each one needs attention and if one box is too full it is at the detriment of the other two and that’s not a good thing.
I will start to say no to some things and yes to others. I will stop thinking about the things I want to do and start doing them.
After all, only I can change my life, no one can do it for me.