Most of us have things in our lives we want to do, as well as those things we have to do. Perhaps you want to go to the gym more often, or you want to read more books this year. Like most of us, do you find yourself wishing you had more time to pursue the things you want to do as well as the things you need to do? For us who are still working or even retired, there is always that need to achieve and maintain work and life balance.
Whilst time management is important to achieving these goals, some other steps must precede it. As you define these steps, preferably using a journal to keep track of what you discover about yourself, they will help you achieve that work and life balance that will enable you to do those things you want to do and achieve at this point in your life.
1. List Your Goals
All of us have goals that change regularly and that reflect other things going on in our life at the time. List your goals and prioritize them from important to least important. Include not only the goals you have to achieve, but also the personal goals you want to achieve.
2. List Your Daily Schedule
Although we want more time in the day, all of us have 24 hours. We use some of these hours for sleep and some of these for work and recreation purposes. List down your daily schedule and include the things you must do because they are a commitment. This may include work commitments or school sport commitments with the children.
3. Prioritize Your Personal Goals with Equal Priority as Work Related Goals
Don’t minimize the time available to do the things you want to do, particularly if they are contributing to your life goals or wellbeing. Include family time and other essential life activities that require your time and attention.
Keep to the Schedule unless in an Emergency
Most people who create a daily schedule, keep to it for a while, but not long enough for it to become a habit. Habits take around 3 weeks to form, so if you want your new approach to work and lifestyle to be maintained, you must protect it at all costs. If you want to achieve your own personal goals, you must protect them at all costs. Eventually, the changes you implement will become second nature, but until then, you need to stay in control of your time management.
Do you sometimes feel like you are a work in progress? Do you feel the drive to keep improving yourself and then find yourself in a spiral of despair because you just never feel like you measure up? For many people, this is their reality. Research has shown that this may be one of the most common causes of weight gain and emotional eating disorders.
All of us need to find freedom from the cycle that we are imperfect .While we all have room to grow and develop; the most freeing of all realities about ourselves that we need to absorb and accept is that we are a unique and beautiful human being. There is no one quite like us on this earth and there never will be. Once we accept this for ourselves, we can then look for ways to make the good in us better. Without this perspective, we will constantly strive to find some self-acceptance and won’t move much beyond this point in our life.
An old African proverb reminds us that if we don’t have any enemies inside us, then no external enemies can cause us harm or hurt. Have you noticed when things are going well on the inside and you are feeling secure and happy with life, things that go wrong in your life don’t seem to be so bad, but when you are feeling bad about your self, things are so different. The world seems to take on a much darker feeling and it’s more difficult to cope when things are not going right?
Learning to love yourself and to appreciate the uniqueness you are is often the first stage of learning how to control your weight, feel confident in studying or changing careers, or learning a new hobby. Many of the things we procrastinate over that are for our own benefit and enrichment are often the things we don’t do, because perhaps deep inside we don’t think we are good enough or worthy enough to do these things for ourselves.
Challenge those thoughts and starting tomorrow – Choose one thing you want to do for you. – Because guess what, you are worth it! Most people have to battle the self-talk and rarely say anything nice about themselves. Try looking in the mirror when you wake up and tell your reflection what you would tell your best friend… You are worth it!
“When work is a pleasure, life is a joy;
when work is a duty, life is slavery.” ~ Maxim Gorky
Man is born to work; to toil in order to live. But even with this predicament, man can still maintain a well-balanced and enjoyable life. This balance of work and life is aptly summarized by Dolly Parton:
“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”.