Do you plan your life with the same diligence as a work project?

How do you plan your life?

Not just the to-do list activities — pay bills, go to the grocery store, order Thanksgiving turkey — but the big stuff you value most?

I’ve been in a variety of conversations lately about project management. For example:

  • My husband, John,  just finished a multi-month sprint to get about a dozen new pieces of art done for three venues, and to do that, we collaborated on a project plan for him that listed out each incremental deadline to make sure he stayed on track.
  • I’m collaborating with a team to create new text and video blog content for a marketing website and we’re using project management tool Basecamp to track the work.
  • A client is hiring a project manager to have someone whose priority is making sure things get done on time and on budget.

In this mindset, I stumbled onto a Herman Miller video about project management, with the title “Your life is your most important project.”  Ayse Birsel says she sets aside an hour a day for thinking, without judging those thoughts, and that she looks at how her life lines up with her values. If you value giving but you don’t see a lot of giving in your life, how can you redesign your life to better reflect the way you want to live?

This video runs about 3:30. You might want to spend the few minutes just because it’s so beautifully shot. It includes some lovely images from around New York City and inside Birsel’s home.

I’ve read articles over the years that encourage scheduling your personal needs — exercise class or meditation, for example — the same way you would meetings and deadlines. Otherwise you can slip into giving just the leftover scraps of time to things you really value. It’s the Stephen Covey difference between what’s urgent and what’s important.

Birsel pushes beyond that to do a one-woman brainstorming session on her values and her life, then see how it shifts her perception.

How do you design your life?

Some related blog posts about goal setting:


Categories: lifestyle

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Colleen, I thought I’d let you know that the link to the video in the HTML email doesn’t actually link to the video (or the embedded video on your blog either) but instead it links to the thumbnail image only: Do you use a newsletter plugin or just WP’s native system? Maybe just copy the hard link from YouTube and paste it into your newsletter entry instead of relying on WP’s generated version?

    Nice video, and I love their Michigan “Design Yard”!

    • Thanks, Scott.
      What browser are you using? The video plays for me on Chrome and Firefox, and just checked Safari on my iPad and it played. But it doesn’t seemto work in my email.
      I embedded using the WP-hosted tool for video. If it doesn’t work everywhere, yes, looks like I should also show the link.

      • The video works fine in all browsers and on my GalaxyTab (gasp, not an iPad…I actually got it purposely to have an Android device for development 🙂 so that’s not the problem. The problem is only the link in the HTML email which is just a link to the thumbnail image itself. In other words, when people view the message in their email client and click the video image to get to the actual video, they’ll only see a thumbnail image in their browser:


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