Your Time Matters

May 3, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Home 9 +Good Newsletter 9 Your Time Matters

As I prepared to get married last year, one of the best things my husband and I did was take time to consider our family values. Some of them are silly (“Snacks are a family value,” as my 13-year-old says) and some of them are serious (curiosity, learning, prioritizing people)—but all of them have one thing in common: they define how we live our day-to-day lives. 

We can make quick (and simple) decisions because we’ve already decided

A friend needs a last-minute babysitter? Easy yes. (Because we have values to “say yes when possible” and “show up for people.”) 

Want to buy a book on a random topic? Sure. (Because we believe in “lifelong learning.”)

Someone is frustrated, overwhelmed, or upset? Feed them and let them take a nap. (I told you snacks were a family value!)

Now what does all of this have to do with you and your work? 


In the same way my family’s values shape our daily decisions and schedule, your organization’s values shape your work decisions and schedule. 

  • If your organization values deep work, then start canceling meetings
  • If you value collaboration, schedule quarterly brainstorming offsites. 
  • If you value autonomy, then get out of the way of your staff! 

What’s more, your personal professional values should govern the way you work, each and every day.

  • Value uninterrupted time with your kids? Block your calendar in the evenings. 
  • Value peaceful mornings? Charge your phone somewhere other than your bedroom. 
  • Value creativity? Schedule time to create, explore, and discover. 

You are the boss of your time, and you are the boss of your modus operandi. 

But here’s the trick—in order to live by your values, you first have to define what those values are. And this can be way easier said than done. 

So here are my challenges for you this week: 

  1. Make a list of things you value personally. (Lifelong learning, exercise, family dinners, uninterrupted reading time…whatever!) 
  2. Look at your calendar or task list. Are those things reflected in your actual time? (Your days make up your life, so make sure you are making space for the things that really matter to you!) 
  3. Now get with the coworkers with whom you work most frequently. What do you collectively value that you want to shape the culture of your team? (Flow state, brainstorming, silence, team lunch…)
  4. How can you build those values into your systems, structures, and schedules? 

Your time is your most valuable asset, so spend it on the things that you actually value—personally, professionally, as a team, or as a family. 

We’d love to hear what values are emerging for you. Let us know in the comments!

Allison Kooser

Allison is Chief Storyteller at Swell+Good, where she partners with amazing organizations to help them bring their stories to life. She is an avid traveler, an expert takeout orderer, and a big believer in curiosity and kindness. She tries to learn something new every day, and she reads, writes, and paddleboards more than the average human.
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