Personal Hotspots - Being Intentional With How You Spend Your Time

Personal hotspots are an idea I came across whilst reading ‘The Productivity Project’ by Chris Bailey (would highly recommend this book - one of the most straight forward, actionable books on productivity I’ve ever read).

It’s a simple idea that lets you view your life from overhead, helping you to work and live more deliberately whilst consumed in the business of day-to-day life. It’s a great way of taking a step back to get a good overview of how you’re spending your time and whether this aligns with your key values and goals.

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Key areas. The basic premise of the concept is that we all have seven areas in which we invest our time, attention and energy each day. These are:

  • Mind

  • Body

  • Emotions

  • Career

  • Finances

  • Relationships

  • Fun

To create our own personal hotspots list, we take each of the categories above and expand on them, including all commitments and responsibilities important to us under each heading.

For example, under the Body category, we may have food/nutrition, exercise, health/medical check-ups, sleep, stress management etc…

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Weekly review. The hotspots list is then used as a weekly review and reminder, prompting course corrections week by week to gradually improve, become more productive and ensure we spend our time on what matters the most in the long run.

Each week we should go through our hotspots identifying how well we did in each area and how we can improve in the following week, scheduling tasks and setting weekly intentions as we go. Points to think about may include what did we spend too much/too little time on last week and how can this be corrected in the upcoming week? Are there any unresolved issues or obstacles? Are there any opportunities? Are there any commitments that can be added or removed? Expanded or shrunk?

Whilst no on acts in accordance with their values all the time, a regular hotspot review is a great way of working and living more deliberately to ensure we stay on track in the long term.

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Tilting to focus on specific areas at specific times. Another great way to utilise your personal hotspot list is to use ‘tilting’ to focus on certain areas at certain times. Your personal hotspots can be tilted so you put more attention and focus into specific areas that may be more important during certain periods of your life. For example, you may be saving for a deposit to purchase property so may choose to put more time and energy into your Finances hotspot. Or you may come across an exciting opportunity or project that will be great for your career but requires a lot of time and attention, so you may choose to focus on your Career hotspot whilst other areas are put on the back burner for a while.

I’ve only recently started using this method but have found it’s a great way of reviewing and ensuring time is spent more deliberately. Have you ever used this method or anything similar? Do you have any tips on how to be more intentional with your time?