The Insanely Simple Way to Prioritize Your Life and Work

You already have values. And they’re not what you’ve sticky-noted to your laptop.

Jeff Goins
May 10, 2017 · 5 min read


Your calendar never lies. You can’t say one thing and schedule another.

  • When you told your spouse, you’d be home before dinner and then you do something like that, what your schedule is telling you — or rather, what you are telling your schedule — is that you value work more than family, and if you’re not okay with that, it’s time to make a change. This isn’t rocket science. It’s something many of us — faced with near-term pressure at work and home alike — tend to miss entirely.
  • When you say you prize proactive behavior over reactive behavior, but then have day after day filled with meetings, you’re not telling the truth. What you value there is obvious.

You can’t say one thing and schedule another. Where you spend your time is where your values are.

But if you feel, as many do, that your work-life balance is spinning out of control, it may be time for a reboot. And this starts with your calendar. It may be time to sync your schedule back up with your values — your real ones. Here are four ways to get started.


If you feel some inner angst, pay attention to that feeling, and let it motivate you to make some important changes.

“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”

The next time you rush off to another meeting or run in apologizing for arriving late at another parent-teacher conference, ask yourself, “Is this who I really am? Is this who I want to be?”


I learned this tip from my friend Michael Hyatt, who advocates that your calendar should not be something that stresses you out when you look at it. Each new day should be an exciting adventure. If it’s not, then change it.

“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

To start reshaping your schedule, don’t shoot for minuscule changes–map out an ideal week, even if it seems farfetched at first.


Get some accountability. Ask a friend, spouse, or coworker to help you create some boundaries that honor your values, relationships, and commitment.


When you’re in the throes of a busy, stressful day, ask yourself, “Is this really what I’m meant to do?”

We only get so many days on earth. Let’s try not to spend them on things that don’t matter.

At first, this may be sobering to do: taking a hard look at your schedule and asking yourself these difficult questions. It may even usher in a sense of shame about where you’ve been spending your most precious hours of the day.

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The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Jeff Goins

Written by

Writer. Speaker. Entrepreneur. Father of two & husband to Ashley. Author of 5 books, including Real Artists Don’t Starve (order:

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.