3 Rock-Solid Principles to Stay Efficient and Happy

It’s 7:00 pm on a Friday night and I am just sitting down with my family to push my creative boundaries with another Paint Nite adventure.  Tonight we are painting a starry night with some snow-tipped trees (well at least some of us are).  I’ve ordered my keto salad and a glass of sparkling water and have settled into my seat hoping that I don’t embarrass myself with my poor attempt at being an artist. As I think back on my week while I wait, I wonder where the time went.


It’s so easy to lose track of time when you don’t have the results to measure against your productivity.  Sometimes you can spend hours prepping for a meeting, conducting that meeting and then not see the fruit of that meeting for weeks.  Most of us have follow a rigorous schedule to stay on-task in order to give us more qualified time at home where we are most happy and content. I am no different, and I live by these three rock-solid principles to give me peace of mind:

Like you, I want to spend my days feeling like what I do matters to me and to others.  I want to spend my days maximizing my happiness.  To do this, I must align myself with those activities that have purpose and give meaning. Of course I have had moments where I have squandered my time.  And yes, I too am guilty of watching mindless TV for hours in an attempt to disconnect with everyday life. But recently I have had a wakeup call as a good friend of mine lost her life partner after 50+ years of being together. This was a reminder that no hour is guaranteed for any of us.

With the beginning of the New Year, there is a lot of pressure to create a resolution for 2018. Most of them we won’t keep, but I am going to try.  I have personally decided that I never want to be idle unless nothing is what I want to do and I have on a conscious level given myself permission to do so.  In other words, I don’t want to mindlessly waste my time.  I want to enjoy my down-time because I have earned it.

So how do I make the most of every minute?

I remember the words of wisdom I read in an “O” Magazine while I was waiting for my daughter to get her hair done for her recent wedding.  Oprah’s words were, “Practice being fully present and remember that stress is caused by wanting this moment to be something it is not.  Inhale what is, accept this time for whatever purpose it serves, and look for the stillness beneath all the noise of the world, where everything is timeless”.

How are you choosing to spend your 24/7?