Why Your Values Can Help you Make Better Decisions
Values are the compass we use to understand where our time goes. The choices we make, the decisions we take are shaped by them — most time subconsciously.
This is especially important to recognise when our personal and professional values connect and clash. In Reclaim your Time Off, I talk to great lengths about the importance of values. To gain clarity, we need focus.
All I want you to do is list all of your core values. For this, all you need is some paper and your favourite pen.
Yes, a piece of paper, or even a virgin notebook you have been saving for a special occasion. You are taking 10 minutes for yourself, so make sure you do it in style; blame that new purchase on me if you have to.
Now draw two columns: on one side, you write your personal values and on the other one, you write professional values.
If you are struggling to identify values, look at them as feelings or priorities in your life. Examples of professional values could be abundance, freedom, clarity, and service. Whereas personal values could be adventure, family, and friends. Now rank them in order of importance on both columns.
It’s essential to take stock of the most critical values to understand how your career and career are supporting you by encouraging daily happiness and success.
If your values are clashing, for example, if the “service” that you’re looking to bring in your work is not allowing you to have enough time with your “family”, then you have to start reassessing your priorities.
How to streamline your values
Ask yourself, “how can I align my professional and personal values to make time for what matters the most to me?”
Open up that notebook of yours, and write down some ideas that come to mind.
These will be the foundation of your short and long-term goals. If there is something the pandemic has taught me, the pressure we put on ourselves to constantly perform and be “switched on” is detrimental to our mental well-being.
This is why we’re looking at short-term solutions and long-term changes to find a better balance in our work and our life. Short-term habits will help you set up the foundation for more significant changes.
I believe in understanding what type of life you want to lead by outlining your values and taking small, intentional action first, as this will bring that motivation for long-term changes.
Honestly, so many people right now are suffering from decision-fatigue, and are just looking for small wins to celebrate. Make sure you come up with meaningful ways to make your values align.
Make sure your choices match your values. Take 72 hours before making any critical decision. This will give you ample time to carefully mull over the various options.
Create a brain dump document or even “section” in your to-do list (or a note, whatever is easier). Let the ideas simmer and come back to them when you are ready.