When I teach career workshops, one of the things we talk about is our values--what is important to us in our work and personal lives?
Participants will often tell me that family and friends are at the top of their priority list, along with opportunities for growth and development and work that has an impact.
We will discuss how important these values are to people and then I will ask them to do another exercise--"write down how you spent your time last week." Guess what happens when I ask them to compare their values list to the ways they spent their time? Not much of a match there.
If you want to know what you REALLY consider a priority, start observing yourself at work and at home. How are you spending your time? Is it on the activities you say are important to you? Or it it on tasks that have nothing to do with what you say you value?
When your values and how you spend your time are misaligned, that's often when you find yourself dogged by a vague sense of dissatisfaction. The longer it goes on, the worse it can get, until either your priorities need to change--or your life does.
It's worth looking at how you spend your time. It will tell you a lot about what you REALLY value. You may be surprised at what you discover.