How Do We Break the Cycle?

People Carrying a Lightbulb

This is the third post in a three-part series on making wise investments of your time, energy, and money. Check out Are You Making the Most of Your Resources? and Why Are We Stuck? for more ideas.

Most people don’t want to spend their day doing things that aren’t a good investment of their time and energy.  

But, it can be difficult to change how you use your time and energy when issues are piling up, you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you’re unsure what your priorities should be. 

You may have gone through numerous books, videos, and podcasts that offer time management tricks, only to struggle to keep up. 

Using resources wisely is less about tips, techniques, and tools and more about managing ourselves, knowing where to put our time, energy, and money, and creating plans that have us focused on the right things.   

To break the cycle:

✅Change Your Thinking✅

Your thoughts create your situation. To change our behaviour, we first need to change how we think, including challenging our core beliefs. Start thinking about investing time, energy, and money and your return on your investment. View problem solving, prevention, and being proactive as important strengths. Focus on long-term performance rather than short-term outcomes.  

✅Prioritize and Plan✅

There are hundreds of things you could put your resources toward. You are currently choosing a few and leaving the rest unaddressed. Once you begin to think differently about what you say “yes” and “no” to, determine what is essential for you and your organization to achieve, decide what activities and outcomes matter most, and then put your time, energy, and money towards those things. Balance long-term performance and short-term wins.  

Once you have established your priorities, create SMART goals rather than just using a to-do list. Create budgets for your time, energy, and money. Only attend meetings that are a wise investment of your resources.  

✅Start Small✅

Changing how you manage your time, energy, and money requires changing how you manage yourself. Like any change process, it takes motivation, understanding, ability, and support. Start small, choose small goals, and slowly adopt new habits that work for you.   

✅Shift Resources✅

You can’t add more hours to your day, so you must shift your time. Your best Wise Investment may be making plans to reduce your Things No One Should Be Doing and Things I Should Not Be Doing activities.

You may need to temporarily add people to your team or organization who can help solve problems or address some of the fires. You may need to develop problem-solving and other skills in the people who are already on your team. Part of your shift will also require you to let some more fires burn.  


Once you have planned, block time with yourself and do what you can to stay focused in that time.  

Like cleaning out a closet, things tend to get messier before getting more organized. 

You are on a path to being more proactive, and while the journey may be a little challenging, you will likely find the destination to be worth it.  

#timemanagement #productivity #stress #wellbeing


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