Access your internal purpose guru and make the most of your time, says Abigail Barnes

In work, as in life, there must be a reason for us to do what needs to be done. Some people are motivated by their salary, to-do list, deadlines, the expectations of others, while others are motivated by their purpose, a mission or a vision.

In my experience, the first types of motivation work for a while but are not sustainable. A feeling of demotivation and emptiness can often follow. The second type of motivation is much more rewarding until people feel uninspired by the purpose, mission or vision they are following.

With the energy of the new year still with us, it’s time to talk about next level productivity. To become your most productive self, you’ll need to learn how to access your internal purpose guru!

How to Access Your Internal Purpose Guru

Below are 5 questions you can use to coach yourself to uncover your internal purpose. Give yourself 15-30 minutes with a notepad, pen and a drink and write down the first thing that comes to mind for each question. Don’t overthink it and don’t let your mind distract you with a journey down memory lane.

  • What do you enjoy doing? This is the activity or thing you do that cause you not to notice the time fly by.
  • Who do you enjoy doing it with? Maybe you do this activity or thing with others, or maybe it’s something you do on your own.
  • How often are you doing what you enjoy each week?
  • How many hours/days a week do you get to do what you enjoy?
  • What stops you from doing more of what you enjoy?

What things come up in your work/life that mean you don’t have time to do more of what you enjoy, and when you do get to do it, you feel stressed out, or like you don’t have enough time?

What would need to change for you to have more time to do more of what you enjoy?

When people don’t have enough time to do what they want, I recommend that they track their time for 7 days and audit where it’s all going (details for how to do that are in my book and new workbook). I find that people have a rough idea without an audit, but the audit gives them the data they need to make changes.

You can use these questions whenever you feel like you’re becoming the servant of your time and not the master.

How Can Understanding Your Internal Purpose Guru Make You More Productive?

Prior to 2020, the world operated with fixed office locations and 9-to-5 working hours, with flexibility around that on a case-by-case negotiation basis. A consequence of the global pandemic has been the realisation that the world of work can be different, that ‘employees’ can be more autonomous, and schedules designed around capacity, capability and team collaboration.

With the advent of more freedom comes the need for self-leadership to create sustainable productivity improvements through increased self-awareness and internal drive.

When you know what you enjoy doing with your time, you can use it more purposefully both for work and personal passions.

When you tap into your internal purpose guru, you’ll discover what it is you want to do with your life and therefore your time, and it’s this that will make you more productive in all areas of your work and life.

Time is like water; it never stops moving and it follows the easiest route. If you want to do specific things with your time, then you’ll need to be clear on what those things are (use the questions in the previous section to better understand your preferences) and create a plan for how you will allocate your time, take action on that plan, see what happens and then adjust the plan accordingly.

You’ll never know if something might work until you try it, and that’s also when you’ll find out if it’s what you want to do more of or less of in the future.

Abigail Barnes is the founder of Success by Design Training and an award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker, and corporate trainer on time management and productive wellbeing. She is a qualified coach and creator of the renowned 888 Formula. Success by ... (Read More)

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