Hot Spots

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Hot Spots are your areas of focus that matter.

If you’re not getting the results you want, explore how you’re investing in your Hot Spots. Maybe with a few tweaks of where you spend your time and energy, it's just the trick you need.

If you think of your life as a "heat map" of pain, pleasure, and opportunity, then Hot Spots are the focal points. This is a starter set of categories to use for skilled living. This is the big picture. It’s how to chunk up your overall time and energy. There are certain areas in life that if you invest in, you get rewarded. On the flip side, if you ignore these categories, you pay the price.

How to Use Hot Spots

  1. Write down the "top of mind" pains and opportunities that are on your mind.
  2. Prioritize the paints and opportunities.
  3. Set boundaries in terms of time limits for how much time you will spend in your pains or opportunities. Think in terms of minimum and maximum time as appropriate.

Hot Spots for Life

Here is the starter set of categories to use for thinking about the areas in your life that need focus and energy:

Hot Spot Description
Mind The Mind bucket includes investing time to learn thinking techniques and keeping your mind sharp.
Body The Body bucket includes investing time to keep your body in shape. It includes learning patterns and practices for health. The most important basics are eating, sleeping, and working out.
Emotions The Emotions bucket includes investing time to keep my emotions healthy. It includes learning emotional intelligence and keeping my emotions in check. It’s about learning skills for feeling good.
Career The Career bucket includes activities, projects, and growth for your job and your professional services.
Financial The Financial bucket includes investing time to learn patterns and practices for building and sustaining wealth.
Relationships The Relationships bucket includes relationships at home, work, and life.
Fun The Fun bucket includes investing time to for play and doing whatever you enjoy.

Setting Boundaries

Set a minimums and maximums for your Hot Spots in terms of time and energy. This keeps you from getting over-invested. Use your Hot Spots to set boundaries. For example, set a max on career and a min on relationships, body, and fun.

Hot Spot Boundaries (minimums and maximums)
Mind -
Body Min of 3 hrs.
Emotions -
Career Max of 50 hrs.
Financial -
Relationships Min of 8 hrs.
Fun Min of 3 hrs.

So step one was deciding to spend no more than 50 hours each week on my career hot spot. That forced me to bite off only what I could chew. That’s how I started improving plate management and pushing back effectively. I can only spread my life force over so much. The categories help support each other. They can also work against each other.

Prompts for Your Life Hot Spots

Here are some simple prompts to help you think of hot spots in your life. The list is not complete or exhaustive and it’s not meant to be. You may want to add some other hot spots for your life, such as spiritual or social. The key is to have a simple heat map of what’s important for you. It’s a high level way to remind you to spread your life force across your meaningful buckets. It’s a way to more thoughtfully invest in yourself.

Hot Spot Examples
  • Dental
  • Eating (Nutrition)
  • Exercise (Sports, weightlifting, Pilates, yoga, martial arts … etc.)
  • Health/ Medical (Disease, prevention, medicine, illness, hereditary or acquired diseases … etc.)
  • Senses (Auditory, gustatory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and visual)
  • Sleeping
  • Stress
  • Systems (Cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, excretory, immune, skin, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal)
  • Activities
  • Deliverables
  • Development
  • Expectations
  • Outcomes
  • Projects
  • Relationships
  • Roles
  • Tasks
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Feeling Good (Dealing with depression, loss, … etc.)
  • Emotions (Acceptance, anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise)
  • Empathy
  • Passion
  • Active Income
  • Budget
  • Business
  • Credit
  • Insurance
  • Investment
  • Nest Egg
  • Passive Income
  • Retirement
  • Real Estate
  • Savings
  • Spending
  • Taxes
  • Free-time
  • Hobbies / Interests
  • Indoor recreation
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Travel
  • Vacations
  • Anxiety
  • Clarity
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Learning
  • Mental Models
  • Optimism
  • Vision
  • Family
  • Work
  • Other

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