I have read several recent articles and posts across social media that refer to the importance of mental health, the importance of wellbeing and the importance of looking after ourselves.  There are so many thoughts, opinions and strategies that give claim to helping us achieve this state of self-care.

I am sure that many of these ideas are effective – sometimes they just seem complicated in the level of change required to achieve wellness.  So, here are two remarkably simple (but fundamental) strategies, I personally practice, and we teach our clients to practice in everyday life:

  • Say Yes to Priorities
  • Say No to Activities

Let me put this into context

Priorities are those matters that contribute to your goals, your mission (hopefully you have one!) and your values.  Activities are those ‘things’ we can fill our precious time with – emails, social media, reports, meetings, voluntary roles, popular past-times…  Some of these are necessary in our professional roles and others are desirable in our personal roles. However, they are not necessarily priorities unless they support the person you want to be and the goals you want to achieve in 12months, 3 years, 5 years and so on…

Time is one of our most precious commodities and we have the option to choose wisely how we prioritise its use.  We can manage our time as efficiently as possible; however, by simply managing time, we may still be filling it with activities that are not important.  Important activities support our important roles and our desired results.

To use Stephen Covey’s key question in personal management: “If you were to do one thing in your professional work, that you know would have enormously positive effects on the results, what would it be?”  This question can, of course, be applied to our wider life context and the roles that are important to us.

Take Action

So, grab some paper and pen.  Write down the roles that are important to you in your life.  Then apply this question to each role and record your answer.  I can guarantee that every answer would come back fundamentally to relationships.  Here is your starting point.  These important roles need invested relationships.  This is where your priorities lay.  This is where you direct your time –  in support of these important relationships and goals that help you become the person you want to be in 12 months, 3-5 years….  And here is where your decision making is also supported:  by deciding upon what your highest priorities are, you can then find the courage and commitment to say ‘No’ to the lesser ‘other’ things.

These two fundamental practises will make a significant difference to your personal headspace a.k.a wellbeing.  Go on, give it a go.  You can thank me later.

Author: Eden Hersey | Communications Project Leader | Kanuka Wellbeing & Leadership Ltd

Kanuka Wellbeing & Leadership take their philosophy from Aotearoa NZ’s native pioneer Kanuka tree.   The kanuka tree has two key roles in NZ’s forest ecosystem: to revegetate and rejuvenate whenua (land) that has been burnt, eroded or experienced some form of trauma; kanuka also grows tall and has a role in pushing other trees like Totara and Kahikatea to grow tall and straight to reach the canopy.  We compare these roles with our wellbeing and leadership philosophies.




Learn more at: www.wellbeingandleadership.co.nz

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