How much time do you spend doing things that come naturally to you?
The answer matters more than you think.
What are those things that you're naturally good at? The things that you can do with confidence and ease? They may technically be work, but you enjoy them and do them well. They energize you as opposed to draining you. You may lose track of time when you're doing them. Those are your natural strengths, your unconscious competence.
Now, what are those things that you need to do or choose to do … more than want to do? They are like writing with your non-dominant hand. (Writing with your left hand if you are right-handed, and vice-versa.) You can do them, but they take more time, energy, and attention -- and the quality may be lacking.
Make a list of your activities in the past week.
- Divide them into two categories: 1) natural strengths / energizing and 2) learned behaviors / draining.
- How much time do you spend doing energizing vs draining tasks?
- If the ratio is lower than 70:30
- What are the consequence of this balance? (physical, emotional, mental, relational, financial)
- What one step can you take to improve the balance?
- If the ratio is 70:30 or above:
- How is this balance benefiting you?
- What can you do to protect this balance?
The goal is to keep your balance around 70:30 -- perhaps a bit higher. When it's lower than 70:30 -- when you spend more time doing things that drain you than things that energize you -- life drains out of you. It's not sustainable over time.
When you spend 70% or more of your time operating in your natural strengths, then you will have the energy to do those things you need to do or choose to do but aren't your favorite things to do.
The goal is not to for this balance to be 100:0 or even 95:5. That's not realistic. And, you need opportunities to stretch you so you can grow.
Revisit this tool regularly and assess your balance. When your ratio starts trending down, be intentional to address that and regain a 70:30.