Do you find lately you're running here, running there, running everywhere... and are still frazzled all the time? Balancing your time is important to your work, your relationships and your health. It requires a commitment and proper time management.
Watch the second hand on a clock. Seconds click away into minutes... into hours. Time waits for no one. How well we use that time is up to us. Whether we fill our day with meaningful activity or accomplish nothing is totally our choice. Learning to balance our time helps us achieve our goals and follow our bliss.
Let's face it, there are things we like to do and things we have to do. No matter how much we try to ignore them, the things we have to do are always there waiting for us. Probably the biggest roadblock to balancing time is procrastination. We tend to hold off on doing those things we least want to do. After all, it's so much easier putting them to the back of our mind.
Using our time efficiently feels good
There's a good feeling at the end of the day when we know we've accomplished those things we've set out to do. We feel more fulfilled and can see a clear direction for the next day. We can follow through with our commitments. There are no cobwebs of confusion in our mind. This structured lifestyle filters into our work, relationships and home life.Achieving this sense of accomplishment, however, isn't easy. It requires a commitment to balancing and structuring our time.
What's important in our daily life?
Seven important areas require attention when we plan structure and balance into our day. The important decision is: How much time do we want to commit?
- Social life
- Exercise and physical activity
Every one of these is important to creating balance in our lives, so we must prioritize how much time to spend in each area. There are only 24 hours in a day. If 14 of those hours are spent at work, little time is left for the other important parts of our life and they suffer as a consequence. Relationships with those we love will grow thin. Our physical and mental health will also suffer.
Time Management: Where do we start?
- Balance! — Remember your most important goal is to balance your time so that you're not shortchanging any of the important areas in your life.
- Set priorities — Decide what is important and how much of each day's time will be devoted to that area.
- Written agenda — A written daily agenda gives us purpose and direction. The agenda should be structured with specified time frames. Check off items completed for a feeling of accomplishment.
- Set short, medium and long range goals — Planning out today it a great start, but it's also important to keep in mind those things that must be accomplished in the near and distant future.
- Know your limits — Learn to say "No" to things that just don't fit into your schedule. You may need to delegate these activities out to others or move them into the future where the timing can work better.
- Watch the clock — It's so easy for the day to fly by before much on your list has been accomplished. Keeping an eye on the clock will help you to stay focused on your goals for the day.
- Take a break— No schedule is ever so firm that you can't take a minute for a hug or a call to one you love or a coffee or stretch break for yourself.
- Time to reflect — Be sure to set aside time each evening to reflect on how well you were able to maintain balance in your day.
- Tomorrow's a new day — Nothing ever works like "clockwork." If your plans for balance went a bit awry today, remember tomorrow is another day.
At the end of the day, when that clock turns into a tomorrow, you'll be able to smile if you've learned to secret to finding balance in your life.