3 Ways to Find Balance in the Busy

Time Management BalanceWe all strive to live a “balanced” life, but what does that really mean? Living a balanced life is more than just physically removing yourself from work once in a while.

Balance has just as much to do with your mental state as it does the hours in your schedule. If you’re thinking about work 24/7, it doesn’t really matter that you “allowed” yourself to go out to dinner with friends on a weeknight, or splurged on that 3-day weekend getaway. Try these three tips to allow yourself to mentally let go of your work on a regular basis.

1. Enjoy “Guilt-Free” Desserts

When you take a little time for yourself, do you feel guilty? An enjoyable Dessert task in your Time Diet is hardly enjoyable at all if you spend the whole time berating yourself for not being productive. Instead, broaden your definition of productivity to include doing things for yourself and recharging your batteries.

2. Ditch Your Connectivity

Just because you can take a moment to check your work email while out to dinner doesn’t mean you should. Allowing yourself to be constantly connected to work via your smartphone makes relaxing difficult.

3. Make Enjoyment a Priority

Do you only allow yourself to enjoy the “left over” time at the end of the day when you’re exhausted and worn out? Make Desserts a priority in your calendar just like everything else. It’s easy to work late and skip your favorite yoga class because there “isn’t enough time,” but remember, we make time for the things that are important to us.

Motivated and driven people are naturally going to worry about their job “off the clock” from time to time, but the more we can strive to compartmentalize that worry and turn it off once in a while, the better.

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Are You a Workaholic?

Time Management WorkaholicAre you a workaholic? Do you walk that fine line between loving your job and being obsessed with your job? A workaholic, in short, is someone who is addicted to work, not simply an ambitious person who works hard. Knowing the difference is important.

A hard worker is motivated and driven, but enjoys a healthy personal life as well. A workaholic places work above all other priorities and craves it even when trying to “relax.”   So how do hard workers avoid becoming workaholics? Try these 5 tips:

1. Find a Hobby

It’s easy to let yourself work all day and night when you have nothing better to do. Learn an instrument, write a book, refinish furniture, join a community sports team, or just find an author you love and make a reading list. Facebook and email are not hobbies.

2. Unplug

Just because we have the ability to be constantly connected doesn’t mean we should. Looking at your smartphone every 5 seconds not only destroys your ability to focus, but it makes your work take longer and allows work to encroach on your personal time. This week, I am taking the 24 hour smartphone challenge during which I will go a whole day without my little addicting pocket computer. Subscribe to The Time Diet to read about my experience next week!

3. Delegate

“If you want something done right you have to do it yourself.” That phrase is responsible for so much wasted time and stress. You are a not a super human and you don’t have to do everything yourself! Don’t be afraid to ask for help and make the time investment to set up that helper for success.

4. Learn to Say No

We hard-working types have a hard time saying no because we like helping people and we know we have the ability to do so. Just because you have the ability and the willingness doesn’t mean you have the time.

5. Make a Stop Time

In my time management trainings, I tell procrastinators to make a “Start Date” for each “Due Date” in their calendar. Workaholics don’t have a problem with starting. They have a problem with stopping! When you sit down to be productive, define your work parameters by setting a stop time when you will allow yourself to stop thinking about work.

Achieving that elusive work/life balance is tricky, especially for work hard working, motivated people, but it can be done!

Looking for a time management book that will help add balance to your day? Check out The Time Diet: Digestible Time Management on Amazon and Kindle!

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