Core Values and Time Management: What Do They Have in Common?

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Life as an entrepreneur can be a whirlwind, with numerous responsibilities and roles demanding our attention. As we navigate the complexities of family life, managing friendships, caring for ourselves, and entrepreneurship, the decisions we face on a daily basis can leave us mentally drained. Did you know that the average person makes around 35,000 decisions each day? It's no wonder we often find ourselves overwhelmed and exhausted.

However, there is a powerful tool that can help us combat decision fatigue and regain control over our time management: our core values. And you might be wondering what on earth core values have to do with decision making–so let’s dive in.

 

Understanding Decision Fatigue 

Before we delve into the connection between core values and time management, let's take a moment to understand decision fatigue. Imagine your brain as a muscle—it's a mighty powerhouse, but it also needs rest. Throughout our day, we encounter countless choices, ranging from mundane tasks to life-altering decisions. Each decision consumes mental energy, and as the day progresses, our cognitive resources gradually deplete, leaving us mentally exhausted.

Ever finished up an exhausting day, just to have to fight the urge to lose it when your partner asks, “So… What’s for dinner?” That’s decision fatigue. Sometimes you just need them to make the choice.

Decision fatigue can manifest as reduced willpower, difficulty focusing, and a tendency to make impulsive choices. This mental exhaustion hinders our ability to manage time effectively and make sound decisions, ultimately impacting our productivity and overall satisfaction with life.

 

The Power of Core Values 

Core values are like guiding stars—they provide a moral compass that leads us toward what truly matters in our lives. They reflect our deepest beliefs and shape our identity. Identifying and embracing our core values empowers us to make choices that align with our authentic selves and live a purpose-driven life.

Now, here's where it gets exciting: knowing our core values significantly reduces decision fatigue. When faced with numerous options, having a clear understanding of our values streamlines the decision-making process. Instead of getting caught up in the details, we can filter choices based on whether they align with our core values. This not only saves us precious mental energy but also frees up time for what truly matters.

 

Applying Core Values to Time Management 

Priority Alignment

When we identify our core values, we gain valuable insights into what truly matters to us. This awareness helps us prioritize our time and energy accordingly. We can focus on activities that align with our values, both in our personal and professional lives. For example, if quality time with family is a core value, we can carve out dedicated moments for meaningful interactions, making it a non-negotiable part of our daily routine.

Setting Boundaries

Core values act as our personal guideposts for setting boundaries. They give us the strength to say "no" to activities that don't align with our values. This protective measure shields our time and prevents us from becoming overwhelmed by commitments that drain our energy and distract us from our priorities.

Simplifying Decision-Making

When our core values are clear, decision-making becomes much simpler. We can evaluate options based on whether they resonate with our values, eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth. This clarity and efficiency translate into improved time management. We spend less time agonizing over choices and more time taking action.

Delegating and Outsourcing

As strong, capable individuals, it's tempting to take on everything ourselves. However, our core values empower us to delegate tasks that don't align with our priorities. By entrusting others with certain responsibilities, we free up time to focus on what truly matters. This delegation not only enhances our time management but also fosters collaboration and empowers those around us.

Establishing Routines

Core values provide a solid foundation for establishing daily routines. By incorporating activities that align with our values into our regular schedules, we create a sense of structure and consistency. This streamlines decision-making by turning important actions into habits, freeing up mental energy for more complex choices.

 

Taking Back Time with Your Core Values 

In the hustle and bustle of our lives, decision fatigue can be a real challenge. However, by recognizing the power of our core values, we can overcome decision fatigue and optimize our time management. When we align our choices with our core values, we make decisions efficiently, reduce stress, and lead more fulfilling lives. Here are some actionable tips you can use to expedite your decision making:

Download our Core Values worksheet!

The first step to letting those values guide your decision making… Is to figure out what your core values are, of course! You can grab your own copy right here.

Strengthen Boundaries

It’s easy to determine if something doesn’t align with your values… But setting a boundary around it can be challenging. Strengthening your boundary-setting skills can shorten the time it takes to get things out of alignment off of your plate. (You can read our blog on setting boundaries here.)

Making Time for Core Values

One of my core values is adventure… So I make sure I schedule a time in my day to honor that value, even if it’s just a daily walk. How are you honoring all of your core values?

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