The older we get and the more wisdom we acquire, the more we realize that our legacy matters. How do you want to be remembered?
How you spend your time each day will go a long way towards determining your legacy.
If you’re looking for tips on how to live a Legacy Life, then this article can help you – we’ll talk about the challenges that interfere with our Legacy Life goals, I’ll give you 4 EASY tips you can take action on today that will allow you to spend more time on your Legacy Life Goals, and I’ll also recommend various books and links you can use to learn even more. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- How you spend your time indicates your priorities
- Living a Legacy Life – The Video
- Time Waits for No One
- 4 Easy Tips for spending more time on your Legacy Life goals.
- Most Important Tip of All
- Helpful Books about Living a Legacy Life
- Links to learn more
Editor’s Note: this post was updated February 2019. It is also part of a larger series of articles in our Wisdom for Life series. If you’re facing a life challenge and/or looking for tips to live your best life possible, be sure to take advantage of the rest of the wisdom library.
The concepts of building a “Legacy Life” to pass along your wisdom and/or creating “Now Moments” each day is something we’ve discussed on this site many times before and you’ll find numerous articles in the Wisdom library or the links below.
How You Spend Your Time Indicates Your Priorities
Today’s lesson is easy to understand but sometimes hard to put into action.
The questions are simple:
- Are you satisfied with how you spend the majority of your time?
- Does the time you spend each day accurately reflect the priorities you’ve set for yourself?
- Are you spending time on your legacy life goals?
If the answer is ‘no’ it may be a good time to reevaluate things.
The first step towards living a life more focused on building your legacy is recognizing all the many things you do each and every day that are NOT serving any purpose towards your legacy goals.
If you keep a journal for a week and write down all the time you spend on non-Legacy goals vs Legacy goals, I’d wager you’ll be horrified to see how little time you spend on the life goals that are important to you. I’m not saying this has to be a dear diary journal or one focused on psychoanalysis – just keep it simple, as you go thru the day or at the end of the day, write down the big picture activities that you spent your time one and then review it at the end of the week. If the pictures isn’t good, then use the tips below to change things over time.
How to Live a Legacy Life
Want to watch this life lesson in video format? Check out this vid from That Helpful Dad’s YouTube Channel….
Time Waits for No One
Remember one of our prior discussions – there is no guarantee of tomorrow. The only thing we know for certain is that we are alive right now, in this moment.
If you spend all of your time on trying to get rich, or watching cat videos on Facebook, or doing any number of things that are time-suck activities NOT aligned with your true hopes and dreams in life then you are robbing yourself (and anyone else invested in that goal) of precious time.
Don’t let the sands in the hour glass of your life slip away from you.
Remember, unlike an hour glass, you can’t flip your life over and get more time because (unfortunately for us) regardless of how we use our time, we can never get it back.
Jesus taught his followers similar wisdom in Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34 when he said…
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I think it’s fair to say that for many of us, our desired treasures in life would include things like family, legacy life goals, being happy, etc.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to become ensnared by the cares of the world. When that happens we often find ourselves giving away our time to tasks that don’t directly support our legacy goals.
Worse yet, we don’t discover this problem until its too late.
Yes we all need to have money to eat and probably the biggest time-suck that impedes the time we have to spend on our legacy goals relates to the things we do to pursue income to provide for our families. By no means am I suggesting that you quit your job and spend all of your time on your legacy goals (although if you could, you may find yourself the happiest of all and I’d be your biggest admirer!), but sadly that option may not be realistic for most people. But what I am saying is this…
If you want to spend more time on your Legacy Life Goals then you that you need to be consciously aware of how you spend your time — especially if your free time is limited.
Each day there are multiple decision points at which you can CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE to take a break from your non-legacy tasks and spend a bit more time on your legacy goals. Identify just one decision point each day and you’ll identify 7 more legacy life opportunities each week!
4 Easy Tips to Spend More Time on Your Legacy Life Goals
This is the heart of the article. These are the EASY tips you can use today that will help you life a life more focused on your Legacy Life goals. Use 1 ore more of these tips each day and you’ll be amazed at how your progress on your goals skyrockets!
1- The Intra-Day Just Because
Got a minute to spare at work? Perhaps even an hour? Why not give a quick call to your spouse during a break to say ‘hello?’ Better yet could you meet for lunch?
The same goes if you have kids— could you go to your child’s school and spend lunchtime with them? Think of the happiness you could bring them with such a surprise.
Would any of these really impede your work-day? I’d wager not. But would they make you a winner at the game of life with your family? I’m betting so.
2- Don’t Just Be There, Be Present.
On the weekends, do you find yourself thinking about work while you’re with your family? If so, practice ‘being present’ (AKA totally focused) with whatever activity you are doing with your family.
If you are there-but-not-there then your family is going to know. When that happens it’s like making a mental error in baseball — you went through all the trouble of putting yourself in position to make a great play, but you end up flubbing it because you weren’t paying attention — as a result, you let your team down.
But you can avoid this and become an all-star if simply practice being present so that you can make the most of the precious (and limited) time you do have together.
Consider this — Jesus’ advice above could likely also be translated as ‘where your mind is, there your heart is also.’
Where is YOUR mind — on your legacy goals or somewhere else?
3- Manage Time-Suck with a Plan
Be mindful when things at work are running over-schedule. Pay attention when you know you are doing something that is wasting your time. It’s way too easy to burn an hour or two on things that don’t support your goals and before you know it any free time you had is gone.
I’m not saying you have to be a robot, but I would challenge you to ask yourself a couple questions.
- Is the time-suck activity you’re doing now something that can be deferred till tomorrow?
- Do you really need to watch that cat video for the 10th time? Do you need to spend another hour sharing it and re-watching it with everyone you know?
- Do you really need to reset your fantasy lineup…again? Does it really make a difference?
Look, I’m guilty of all of these just like you. I’m not trying to be preachy here. I’m simply trying to bring awareness to the issue so we can help each other.
Time-suck is a constant battle — but it’s one we can win if we become aware of it and use simple planning tactics to manage it.
Perhaps the easiest of all is simply to build ‘time-suck’ into your daily plan and compartmentalize it into that time-slot. This could satisfy your need to goof off so that you can better focus on your legacy life goals during the majority of the precious free time you do have. Taking it a step further you might employ some of the 80/20 principles to make better use of your time. Check out this easy to use time management cheat sheet…
4- Climb The Mountain Every Day
If you have specific legacy goals related to accomplishments (writing a book, learning a new language, becoming a better cook, etc), try this tip:
Build in some time EACH day to work on your goal and it will often propel your forward faster over the long term vs. if you just worked on it ‘when you have a lot of time to focus on it.’
The problem with deferring your legacy goals ‘until you have time’ is that all too often you never make time. Before you know it that all-important dream is 5 or 10 years old with little advancement.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you work a little bit on your goal each day, you CAN climb that mountain. Each day take at least one simple step on your legacy life goal — if nothing else you’ll keep that goal top of mind. A super easy way to do this is to build time for your legacy life goal into your morning routine — it can make a world of difference and will energize you to do more!
Here’s the Morning Routine I use – it’s based on the philosophies of Tim Ferris and Tony Robbins…
Most Important Tip of All
If you take away nothing else from this article know this…
If you don’t take action to control of how you spend your time, the world will do it for you.
The result is that you’ll likely end up spending a lot of your life on things that are not that important in the grand scheme of things and you’ll miss out on living your best life possible. Don’t let that happen to you.
- KNOW what you want out of life.
- Keep your Legacy Life goals always on your mind.
- Consciously make decisions that allow you to spend your time pursuing YOUR goals — not someone else’s.
If you do these things, you’ll not only spend more of your precious time on your Legacy Life goals, you’ll also be happier and more fulfilled – because you’ll live a life that you know is making a difference. And when you do that, you’ll be contributing your verse to the great play of life!