Wednesday, June 04, 2008

8 ideas for a more balanced life

Smart ideas from the Dumb Little Man Blog on Productivity and Time....

8 Ideas to Break Your Hurry-Habit While Preserving Your Sanity

Posted: 02 Jun 2008 10:55 AM CDT

Written on 6/2/2008 by Shamelle Perera, who blogs about personal development with a heavy focus on practical and actionable advice. Visit the Site at The Enhance Life or subscribe to the RSS feed.

It's been a hectic day as usual. The phone has rung at least a dozen times, you have attended 3 meetings, you spent an hour answering emails, dealt with 4 queries from colleagues who unexpectedly arrived in your office, and there have been 2 major crises to sort out. You have been busy but you don't really feel as if you have achieved anything. Before you know it its time to go home.

The chaos continues at home as well ….….

You always seem to be in a hurry. There seems to be too much to do, and just not enough time. Do you feel like you're chasing something, but you never quite catch up?

Don't you think it's about time to figure out just WHY you are always in such a rush and do something about it?
  1. Analyzing your current use of time: That sounds so simple, but in reality, most people find difficult to practice. We can get swept along in the cut and thrust of daily life without appreciating where our time goes by. Try keeping a time log. You will be able to identify people you don't need to talk on the phone, bits of paper mislead, meetings last longer than expected…

  2. Cut back on time wasters: When completing a time log many people are shocked at the amount of time that is wasted during the day. What is a waste of time (or not) is often a matter of opinion. You decide for yourself when you choose priorities. And yet, people often continue to spend time on an activity they've decided is a waster, usually because it's a habit or something that provides instant gratification. For example excessive television, games, pointless online surfing

    If you find an activity that is wasting your time, you might try scheduling a smaller amount of it rather than totally eliminating it.

  3. Accept the fact that you don't have time for everything: Do you have a hard time saying "No"? Make conscious choices and priorities about what you are going to do. Don't feel obliged or guilty about the other things.

    People will have wants and needs that don't always coincide with your own. You would do well to learn when to take time for others and when it's better to say no. You must decide whether or not the person receives your time by examining your values and priorities. There are times you will want to be sensitive to other's needs and go the extra mile. But when you weigh the situation and decide you must say no, don't hesitate to do so.

  4. Perfectionism: Do you spend extra time getting things 100% right when 95% would do? Does your attention to detail mean something else more important doesn't get done?

    Trying to be perfect takes too much time and effort. It creates too much stress and is impossible anyway. Your best is good enough. Live to a high standard, not to an impossible obsession.

  5. Delegate Tasks: If you can justify the cost of hiring someone to do the unpleasant or time consuming task, you should. Less enjoyable responsibilities such as laundry, house cleaning or house repairs etc are not only time consuming but also can drain you of energy.

    Why do all the work yourself? Share those household chores as a family. Besides a less-stressed you, there will be more time for your family and your kids will learn that great virtue called responsibility. Make sure to post a list of chores and the member responsible.

  6. Set time limits: If you have to work late, or during the weekend, set time limits for yourself. Whether you work for two or four hours, stop working at the end of that time and enjoy the rest of the evening or weekend.

  7. Have a place for things: Make things easy to find. Time spent looking for items is not only wasteful it's frustrating as well. It also has an effect on delaying daily appointments, which will leave you pressed for time.

    Put things in the same place so you don't have to think about where they are. Life is too short to spend time looking for things!

  8. Schedule fun time: People who are highly motivated to succeed sometimes forget to leave a little time for pure relaxation. Although the ideal situation would be to enjoy everything one does, many people find it necessary to work at things, which are not totally gratifying.
    A hard working individual may find it exhilarating to think of an activity as fun time, or "my time". For example, you could spend time with your children and view that as your fun time. You may view your daily walk as "my time that nobody can interfere with; no phone calls or interruptions".

When you are striving to gain and maintain your balance, whether it's working towards a single goal, or several goals, your pace should be relaxed and confident, not rushed and worried. When you put your top priorities first, take one thing at a time, and do the best you can. The important things get done while the less important things will simply have to wait. If you have many priorities which are all important, you'll just have to decided which are top priority, and put those first


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