Does it seem like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? Are you constantly being pulled in several directions, juggling priorities and demands? These feelings leave all of us overwhelmed and out of sorts. Here are three tips to regain your equilibrium from the Center for Creative Leadership’s own Joan Gurvis and Gordon Patterson, authors of Finding Your Balance.
Tip #1 – Rethink balance.
Stop thinking of balance as achieving the right equation of time and effort distributed among your commitments. Instead, think of balance as aligning your behavior with your values. Gurvis says that “Finding balance isn’t really an issue of time, but an issue of choice.”
To align your behavior with your values, first clarify what matters most to you. Then consider your current situation: Are you spending time in a way that is consistent with your values? If not, decide how you’d rather spend your time, and create a plan to make it happen.
Remember, your needs and expectations will continue to change over the years.
Tip #2 – Look at how you spend your time.
Understanding where your time goes will help you quickly identify where you’re wasting time – and allow you to invest more time in the areas that are most important to you. Here’s how:
For one week, record what you do for any period of time of one hour or more. While you’re at it, write down why you did what you did. Do your actions reflect or contradict your values and goals?
At the end of your time tracking, review your notes. Think about whether the activities in your log are necessary for daily living. What percentage of time did you spend working? spend with family? Or dedicate to yourself?
Put a check mark next to the activities that are truly not negotiable and consider the rest. What could you change? What steps can you take to do that now and over time?
Tip # 3 – Recharge.
Make sure to build in time to recharge your energies. So let go of some of your chores and instead do something that inspires and rejuvenates you. As Gurvis writes, “Our capacity to work is not boundless, although we sometimes believe otherwise.”