Perhaps one of the biggest challenges most of us face is knowing how to live a balanced life, within a 24-hour day. Between our work, family, personal development time, inundation by the media, the attraction of the Internet, so many good books to read, wanting to get enough sleep, maintaining social relationships, and the list goes on and on—how do we do it? It is no wonder that seminars on time management, books on life balance, and even garage and closet organizers for all the “stuff” accumulated are selling so well.
One way to become more effective is to evaluate how you use—or don’t use—some of your time. Following are some tips that may assist in increasing your effectiveness and how you maintain life balance every day.
- Begin each day with a list. Prioritize it. The beauty of priorities is that you get to select what’s important and when you want to work on them.
- Set your alarm clock thirty minutes earlier than usual. Do the math and see how much extra time it gives you. How you use the extra time is your decision.
- Wait productively. No one likes to wait; yet everyone must at times, especially these days. Rather than being surprised by it, plan for it. Always have a magazine, book, or a notepad with you. When waiting on the phone, have some key thoughts written down to review.
- Evaluate your possessions every season or at least once a year. Some of the items in your file cabinet, desk drawers, or computer hard drive may not have been looked at for years. The often heard, “less is more” is applicable here. The less you possess, the freer you are.
- Make your calendar essential in your planning. Protect your personal time by reserving it on your calendar. Identify what’s important to you and put it on your calendar. Your family belongs on your calendar. Your vacations, exercise, reading, and hobbies belong there, too. Your calendar will keep you headed in the right direction and minimize distractions and temptations.
- Evaluate your procedures. Most of what you do involves a procedure. You have one when you first get up in the morning and, if you will notice, you use procedures and routines throughout your day. The adage applies here: “First we make our habits, and then our habits make us.” You may be engaging in some of your daily routines by force of habit. Just for one day, be conscious of everything you do. You may find that one of your procedures is counterproductive. For example, if you are a writer, checking your e-mail first thing in the morning may deprive you of a higher priority. If the morning is your most productive time, change your routine. Block out one hour for writing first; then as a break, check your e-mail.
Tip: You will find yourself feeling much more in control and more productive when you implement these 6 tips for better life balance. Remember, too, that being busy is not synonymous with being successful. True success is feeling in control of your life, which leads to greater happiness.
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