If you’re on Twitter, you should follow me for time management and productivity tips. You may have seen a viral Tweet a few months ago. In August, a user named @SteveOnSpeed wrote: “By age 30, you should have a group of friends that talk business, money, and fitness, not politics and pop culture.”  

Considering that Twitter is filled with people who love talking about politics and pop culture, his Tweet wasn’t warmly received by many. It was so widely satirized that it launched a meme.

Other users responded with messages like:

  • “By the age of 30, you should know your ABCs by heart” and
  • “By the age of 30 you should have anxiety, and an emotional support pet that also has anxiety.”
  • Even literary study guide company SparkNotes got in on the fun, tweeting “by age 30 you should have several henchmen, a sworn enemy, and a narrative foil.” 

This Meme Caused A Bit of a Divide

Like a lot of funny memes that sweep through social media, this one highlights a real divide in the way people think about a serious topic. In this case, I think a lot of people who read the original message bristled at a couple of things.

  • One, the idea of being told what they “should” have by a certain age
  • Two, the idea that business, money, and fitness should be central topics for all of us like they are for Steve. 

Maybe Steve wrote that message to provoke a reaction, but maybe he was being completely sincere in his Tweet. I’m sure there are people out there who really do only want to talk to their friends about business, money and fitness. Just as I’m sure there are people out there who prefer to steer clear of anyone who talks about lifting weights or the stock market for fun.  

Here’s Why I’m Thinking About This From a Time Management & Productivity Perspective.  

I’ve been speaking to clients a lot lately about how to achieve results that feel important to them. The “important” piece is really, well, important.  

Achieving goals just for the sake of achievement isn’t going to help you feel fulfilled and fueled by your work and your life. Achieving goals just because you see other people achieving them, or because other people say they’re important to achieve, probably isn’t going to feel very gratifying either. How you schedule your time and use your resources has to be aligned with your deep, personal core values. That’s how you create results and achieve goals that feel truly important to you, even if they aren’t aligned with other people’s results.  

Back to the original example: Steve might have felt a sincere sense of accomplishment when he reached 30 having curated a group of friends who shared his same specific interests. If that truly feels important to him, let’s celebrate that. But that’s him, and his life. 

Assuming your time management and productivity challenges went away and you had time and space to work toward certain accomplishments, what would you really want to work on? Put even more simply, what’s important to you?  

3 Tips for Achieving Results That are Important to You  

1. Make sure you have goals, and that they’re clear to you. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many busy, accomplished professionals can’t actually verbalize their specific goals. They know they’re moving “forward” but don’t have a concrete picture of their target. If pressed, could you give me an “elevator pitch” of your goals right now? If not, spend some time brainstorming until you’re clear about what you’re working toward.  

2. Assess and adjust existing goals that might not be important right now. Fall is the perfect time for this kind of assessment. Maybe you’ve had some goal on your to-do list all year that you haven’t gotten around to making progress on. Maybe it’s time to put that goal aside until next year, or think about if there’s just one element of that goal that you want to carry forward and let the rest go. 

3. Get clear about year-end targets. Specifically, what kinds of results do you want to achieve between now and New Year’s? What’s your short-term vision for the next few months? What’s going to feel great to get done before you take a holiday break? 

Want to know more? Join me for a free webinar on October 20th! 3 Keys to Achieving Your Most Important Results is designed to give you quick, actionable tips that you can use to break through your time management and productivity challenges to start getting more done right away. Reserve a spot even if you can’t attend live at noon ET on October 20th. We’ll send a link so you can watch the recording in your own time. Click here to attend the webinar!

Wishing you a joyful fall! 


Sarah Reiff-Hekking