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:
- Be more effective by making better to-do lists
- Guest post from Zen Habits: The Three-Day Monk Syndrome
- HBR: Developing rituals can help achieve your goals
- Be careful what you wish for: setting goals you’re sure you want
- Setting my 2013 goals with help from friends