‘Achieving balance in your working life’

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I hear the comment all the time by clients, “There is never enough hours in the day to be a parent, spouse, business person and to work-out and relax!”

What is the best way to plan our lives so we can take care of all these elements and also allocate enough time for ourselves to look good, feel fantastic and be healthy and happy?

Also, which habits are holding us back?

Advances in technology like iPhones, Wi-Fi, e-mail, laptops etc. make it possible to work from just about anywhere and at any time.

Continual stress and work can cause a myriad of physiological damage such as anxiety, headaches, insomnia and fatigue.

This ends up then robbing us of the time we may spend on our health and wellbeing through exercise, eating well and relaxing. It becomes a catch22 situation.

The fact remains that we are in control of how we choose to spend our 24 hours.

We only get a limited number of hours each day, so we need to choose wisely on which actions are beneficial for us.

So the question you need to ask is, “What am I choosing as important and am I featured on this list?

We often put ourselves last as we rush around taking care of other people’s needs and demands.
We get caught up in the busyness of our lives and often lose track of how we are spending our finite time.

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • How many hours do you really spend working?
  • How many hours do you fritter away, like needlessly checking emails to avoid “real” work, or surfing the net?
  • How many hours do you have for yourself, offline and alone?

Action steps

  • Identify these “time robbers” and look at ways to realistically modify them.
  • Check your e-mail less often. Do your most important work first and check emails once or twice a day at specific times.
  • Write out your priorities for the upcoming day and week.
    Include time to meditate, exercise, or even to go to the movies or the mall.
    Add work and business related activities but try and balance the two so there is actually “you” time scheduled in.It is harder to cancel on yourself when you have it scheduled in.

Your habits determine your future, so if something has not worked for you in the past, stop doing it! At first you may experience resistance to this change, but persevere as it does get easier.

Action tasks:

  • Define which habits are hindering your success.
  • Identify success habits that will propel you to your desired results,
  • Create an action plan to create these new habits and changes.

Example:

Habit:

Always putting off exercise, due to lack of time.

Success Habit:

Exercising 3 times a week with weights and cardio.

Action plan:

  • Set the alarm for 6am and exercise with either weights or cardio.
  • Lay your workout gear out the night before and as soon as you get up, change into the gear.
  • Buy new workout gear if you can so you feel inspired to workout.
  • Create a “visualisation chart” and ‘why’ list that inspires you to push through any initial resistance to exercise and motivates you to work out.

Each week, list down the top 5-10 priority tasks that are non-negotiable.

Ask yourself which activities you can delegate or just let go off to create more time for you.

Maybe instead of sitting in traffic in silence, choose to spend that time listening to audio books to further your self-development. Or sing along to your favourite tracks and sing out loud for stress relief. It’s a great start to the day!

By having this list, you have something to focus on each week.

When you take care of the important things first, it frees your energy to dedicate some time to yourself.

When I first worked with previous client, she complained she couldn’t possibly find the time to exercise as she was just too busy.

We sat down and looked at how she spent her time. One major “time robber” was that every afternoon she would spend at least 45 minutes clearing up a pile of papers and organising her office.

By planning and executing a system that eliminated this pile up, she created an extra 45 minutes at 2.30pm to go for a walk or do a weights workout.

Time is always there, we just need to identify it! So get to work and identify your Time Robbers, and work at changing them.